Follow TV Tropes


Headscratchers / Iron Man

Go To

New entries on the bottom.

    open/close all folders 

    Stane's henchmen 

  • When Stane goes to Afghanistan to chat with the leader of the Ten Rings and get his hands on the Mark I, he comes with a handful of henchmen. These guys are badass enough that, despite being surrounded by the Ten Rings, in a foreign base, and presumably outnumbered, they subdue the terrorists in the amount of time it takes Stane to talk to the leader without making a sound. For the rest of the movie, Stane does all the dirty work himself and we never see them again. They could have come in handy at some point since Pepper was becoming suspicious of him and SHIELD was on his tail. He's a famous business man so he was risking a lot by trying to kill Tony and Pepper on his own. Sending some goons to do his bidding could have provided an alibi. What's even more puzzling is, if he needed Tony out of the picture, why did he go to the Ten Rings for the kidnapping instead of his henchmen? The Ten Rings ended up causing some problems for him once they realized he tricked them, which was why he had to kill them. His henchmen would have been more loyal I would imagine. We could assume the men in Afghanistan were just hired mercs but we still have the question as to why he didn't hire those guys to get Tony to begin with instead of terrorists who could double cross him. They certainly seemed more likely to follow orders and were obviously tougher.
    • It might run the risk of exposing the deception. Tony Stark is a public figure, and suddenly having him drop off the map would have raised a lot of questions. Everyone would want to know who wanted to have him killed and why - including SHIELD. Having the Ten Rings do the work rather than his own would more likely be written off as "Tony Stark killed in bloody (but routine) terrorist attack" rather than "Tony Stark killed by hired mercenaries". The Ten Rings additionally have more useful knowledge of the terrain they're working with (there's a difference between being good at ambushing a convoy and doing the same with an encampment). Stane probably thought that Stark wouldn't last two minutes in a live fight - at this point in time, he's kind of a rich playboy insulated from reality through his wealth and fame. The weapons that were being used in the fight were also made by Stark Industries - you know, the corporation that specializes in finding awe-inspiring new ways to kill people. Having Stark survive the attack and get captured ruined his plans.
    • If they were hired mercs - which would've been way easier - it would have been much harder to have them operating on American soil against a high-profile target.

    Opening Soldiers 

  • The soldiers in the opening scene are pathetic. They all run out of the Humvee like a bunch of lemmings when they get ambushed in a large open space by unseen assailants, and get gunned down. I'm not a military man, but isn't the smart thing to do is to keep moving any way possible? Especially if they're escorting someone like Tony Stark?
    • Isn't the first Humvee disabled by the roadside IED? Tony's Humvee can't exactly floor it and high-tail out of there without stopping to pick up the wounded first.
    • Also, in an ambush, the only more safe way to escape is the way you came - you can't be sure any other way isn't trapped too. Presumably they're being hit from all sides and in such a case, especially since other humvees have just been blown up, it would be wiser to get out and fight back so you don't get stuck in an iron coffin. Is it successful? Not really because it's just a well executed ambush. Ambushes usually favor the attacker in real life too.
    • It's actually standard doctrine in the Army and the Marine Corps that if you're caught in the middle of an ambush, you charge straight into it and destroy the ambushers.
    • That's not my what my research tells me. If you're on patrol, it's true. But if you're in a traveling convoy, the actual protocol is to just keep going and not risk getting more of your team killed.
    • This isn't as crazy and audacious a plan as it sounds. If the enemy ambushes you, it's a pretty safe bet that the spot you were ambushed on is the best place they can think of for shooting at you: they've got the high ground, they've got mortars and artillery pointed at the area, and they've probably wired the whole place to blow up. Starting a firefight on the ambush ground is a good way to get killed in a hurry; so is hunkering down in the middle of the ambush ground. So your options boil down to either running away or attacking the ambushers; either way you want to get out of the kill-zone as fast as you can.
    • Plus, in the US military's experience, the people ambushing them often have less firepower or troops that aren't as well trained at short range combat; they use ambushes because they need the advantage of surprise to offset their disadvantages. Take away the elements of surprise and superior position by getting in close with them, and suddenly they're less dangerous.
    • These guys are the Ten Rings, on a whole different league from the guys the US military tangles with, along with the fact that they've got Stark Tech backing them up, then they have the upper hand in that situation no matter what. The Army troopers wouldn't know that when they came under fire and would react like they always do to mujahadeen, not understanding how immensely outgunned they were.
    • Dismounting to get to cover is actually a reasonable tactic if you know where you're get shot at from and you can't move. A good example of this pops up in Generation Kill with the AA gun ambush on the Marines' convoy. In this movie, they know where the attack is coming from - the driver yells "Contact left!" as they are being attacked. Looking carefully at that scene again, it looks like Stark's Humvee was boxed in, with the humvees directly in front and behind destroyed and blocking escape. The humvee itself doesn't look like it has a topside machine gun turret, so the only way for the soldiers inside to return fire is to get out. The humvee itself provides almost no cover whatsoever anyway - 7.62mm fire can tear through unarmored Humvees, and a .50 caliber will shred armored ones. As long as they were inside, the soldiers were sitting ducks, so they had to get out to form a perimeter and repel the ambush. The problem was that the ambush was extremely well-done; within seconds the entire escort team was dead.
    • Minor nitpick: Airmen, not Soldiers. Soldiers are in the Army. Airmen are in the Air Force. It is an utterly insignificant distinction to anybody not in the US military, but it's there. Aside from blink-and-you'll-miss-it uniform and vehicle details, the driver of the vehicle makes a point to correct Tony on this point. Since his best friend is in the Air Force, it's possible that Tony was just getting it wrong to troll them.

    Arc reactor 

  • One thing I was never able to wrap my head around is the very concept of the arc reactor. I understand it produced an electric arc using palladium, but how the hell could it produce a practically unlimited supply of power? Nuclear fusion? Tapping into Earth's electromagnetic field? We're simply supposed to believe it works without knowing anything other than the name.
    • The Arc Reactor runs on Applied Phlebotinum. The science behind it is literally beyond anyone but Tony Stark's ability to understand.
    • Well, or Vanko.
    • "We're simply supposed to believe it works without knowing anything other than the name." Well, yeah. We are. A lot of sci-fi power sources are generally just "(insert funny/cool/technical-sounding name here) reactors."The Arc Reactor is Applied Phlebotinum. They don't need to explain how it works, so long as it works, and works consistently.
    • Its appearance was heavily based on the Tokamak design of real world nuclear fusion reactors, so you can believe it's nuclear fusion if you want.
    • Since palladium is known for its ability to purify or absorb hydrogen in large amounts, and hydrogen is the basis of fusion reactions, the arc reactor was almost certainly supposed to be some kind of Tokamak.
    • The Russian translation of the movie never uses the word ARC. They simply call it a "thermonuclear fusion" reactor. How you can make a tiny reactor that you can stick into your body is not explained.
    • Aaand people paying attention when Stark is leafing through his father's design notes for the arc reactor will get a clue as to its true origins: a tesseract otherwise known as a Cosmic Cube, which will be a key plot element in Captain America: The First Avenger. The Arc Reactor is a knock-off of a Reality Warper.

    Arc reactor and Stane 

  • Speaking of which, considering how unique it was, why didn't Stane hand it over to his engineers to replicate instead of popping it into his suit for the sake of admiring it?
    • He didn't hand it over to his engineers because of the minor, insignificant problem that SHIELD is coming to arrest him for treason because Pepper just gave them the evidence of his plot to have Tony killed. Stane found out that Pepper had copied the evidence from his computer, and then right afterward, watched her run off with a SHIELD agent to give him said evidence. It's slightly difficult to have your engineers analyze something while you're in prison awaiting an open-and-shut case for attempted murder and treason.

    Pepper and the disabling explosion 

  • Okay Pepper activates the machine disabling Stane and Tony's respective suits. Stane falls backwards onto the machine causing a massive explosion that blows out the windows of the building below him so...shouldn't Pepper be dead? She was standing next to the machine and didn't have enough time to run away to a safe place before Stane falls back and goes boom. And what about the SHIELD agents who Stane took down earlier. They never left the building either. Shouldn't they be dead too?
    • About ten seconds pass between Pepper hitting the switch to overcharge the Arc Reactor and Stane toppling inside. That's enough time for her to turn and run the hell out of the building; when Stane falls down, Pepper is not visible at the console, so she's clearly gotten away by that point. The SHIELD agents were all inside the bunker where the Iron Monger was built, and were presumably knocked unconscious or killed by Stane. If any survived, they would have been protected from the explosion inside the bunker.
    • Having rewatched that scene, right as Pepper hits the button, she turns and starts to run away. The time between that and when Stane falls gives her plenty of time to either get across the room to the Sector 16 bunker or out of the building.
    • There's a deleted scene on the DVD that takes place between Stane and Stark on the roof after their suits have been depowered. If it had been left in the final move, Pepper would have had another two or three minutes to make her escape.


  • Stark is the multi-billionaire genius CEO of a major US defense contractor and he's going to demonstrate his brand new ultimate weapon. So why on earth would he go all the way to a hostile, unstable country to do so? For that matter, why leave the US in the first place? I find it difficult to believe that he or at least his engineers have never heard of White Sands Missile Range or that there's nowhere else state-side for a demonstration.
    • It's a stunt. It looks good for Stark to visit the war zone, it looks good for him to show the weapons to actual field commanders (who, during a war, would be mainly found in the field), and it presumably increases his chance for a sale if the requests for his weapons come from both the bureaucrats and battlefield officers.
    • A deleted scene has Tony saying something like this.
    • Also, Stane. Remember, Stane wanted Tony to be taken out, and Tony himself is not exactly the paragon of orderly, prudent, well-thought-out action. It would have been child's play for Stane to convince Tony to run off to a hostile country just to show off his weapons, considering how completely reckless he is.
    • He's not just demonstrating it to the Americans, but also to their enemies. In the most terrifying way possible. It's a less villainous version of Tarkin attacking Alderaan.
    • I thought he brought some samples to leave with the military, and was demonstrating how to use it for the commanders who were about to go out and use it.
    • The "sample" he brought to leave with the military was a neat automated wine/champagne cooler. He didn't just offer them some free ridiculously expensive missiles. Anyway, add to all the other reasons, they probably felt better about testing an extremely dangerous cave-destroying missile on foreign, hostile soil with a whole bunch of caves in it. If they managed to off a few insurgents while they were at it all the better.
    • Morale too - the soldiers clearly were pretty stoked about meeting him. And to add to the previous statements, in general, the military is loath to adapt new weapon technology because lives depend on it not just working... but working well, effective, and reliably. More so in the environment they're going to be using it in. Seeing not just a successful test launch but a working launch that does something is going to be a good sell.
      • Good point there. It's human nature to complain about things that go wrong - all the more so when your life is on the line. Soldiers in the field pretty readily grumble to each other about their weapons, equipment, rations, whatever, and don't tend to have a high opinion of the people in the bureaucracy whose jobs is it to design and provide those things. So lets say in Real Life that Elon Musk (probably the closest thing to Stark as far as recognizable CEO / tech genius goes) invented a bunch of military equipment that became popular with the rank and file, and then decided to visit some of the troops in the field personally to test some new gear. The troops absolutely would be stoked to meet him and it makes sense that the military brass would find this good for morale.

    Choosing to make armor 

  • Why was the first thing Tony Stark think when he was in captivity "Hey how about I build a powered suit and punch my way out of here" instead of the simpler "Hey how about I use all these explosives and electronics they gave me and blow my way out of here?" He did manage to make a land mine, it wouldn't be too hard to build more of those and kill off the entire first wave of terrorists, take their guns, and then do it again. Even if he sucked at shooting an actual gun, I assume he'd be able to simply stay back and launch the explosives they gave him from a crude launcher and act like a close range artillery piece, and he could also use that cool flame thrower he made in the Iron Man suit as a standalone piece. Then again we wouldn't have the Iron Man movie but still it just bugs me.
    • Because even if you do manage to blow your way out, you still need an escape plan once all the other explosives go off. The suit provided protection from bullets and shrapnel as well as a jetpack.
    • Because Stark needs to be mobile. Standing back and launching artillery at the terrorists and slowly advancing up the corridors is a good way to surrender the initiative to them, at which point the terrorists whip out something nasty, like tear gas, or set their own mines, etc. The only way he's going to have any advantage is to hit fast and hard and to be able to survive return fire, and get out of the cave before the enemy has time to really react. The only way to do that is with a suit of armor that can withstand that kind of damage.
    • Because it is AWESOME.
    • Think about it for a sec. You've been captured by a bunch of fanatical terrorists who freaking ambushed you and filled you with shrapnel. They put a magnet into your chest so you wouldn't die a horrible death. They force you to make one of your own missiles so they can kill your own countrymen with it. And when you're trying to break your way out, you're smart enough to make anything you want. What would you make?
    • A small tracked vehicle. Far easier to engineer, armor and arm. Then again, this is Tony Stark we're talking about here - he has the mental age of a small child, so it's no surprise he thinks "Gundam!" instead.
    • Actually, constructing a tracked vehicle might be harder in these circumstances than a suit of power armor. Tony would need to manufacture an entire engine apparatus on top of creating wheels and tracks. The armor components are, for the most part, just reshaped metal plating and repurposed missile casings with powered joints - far easier to create, as all he's doing is modifying existing components and welding metal plates together. Also, wheels and tracks are not parts generally associated with missiles; Tony can pretend he's slapping together bullshit components to delay the Ten Rings and make them think he's stalling, as they've likely no idea what most of the components are that are going into the armor design, but if they see he's creating a wheel and track assembly and engine parts, they're going to recognize them and get very suspicious.
    • Another problem is that a vehicle wider than a man can potentially get stuck, as there are plenty of doors down there; tunnels are not known for their ease of movement for anything without legs and have inconsistent widths. A vehicle wouldn't be able to smash through doors without using explosives due to a lack of room to accelerate, and you're going to want to be cautious with explosives in an enclosed area like tunnels. However, something with sufficiently strong arms can smash down doors and pound through relatively narrow crevices in the tunnels.
    • Also something to consider. Nearly every combatant know that the easiest way to disable a tracked vehicle is to hit the treads themselves. A vehicle small enough to navigate the cave and do it quickly would likely have treads that could be damaged by small arms fire. Add to that the speed and maneuverability he needed, and that the only reliable 'map' they had of the cave system was counting footsteps as they were taken outside while blindfolded, and the suit was a better option.
    • Also, I think he kinda implied that he didn't so much think 'Gundam' in custody as... at some point before that. Don't really remember, but he at least came up with the core idea at home - so with all the arguments counted off above, he might as well have weighted the options and deciding the suit was better than a tank.
    • No, the first sign we ever see of him even considering the Iron Man is when he's designing and building the Mk.I. That being said, however, the Mk.I is a remarkably simple device. The true brilliance of what Stark built in the cave is the miniaturized Arc Reactor; the Mk.I itself is just a fairly straightforward suit of cast-iron armor with a few hydraulic systems and a couple salvaged weapons strapped onto it. With regards to the treaded vehicle discussion, any treaded vehicle would be significantly more complicated and time-consuming to build and arm. It would also have a terrible turning radius, which does not mix well with labyrinthine cave systems. However, should Stark manage to navigate such a beast out of the cave without getting caught on a corner or stuck trying to rotate by some combination of luck and impeccable driving skills, he would be able to get out into the desert outside, where the vehicle would promptly throw its treads out trying to maneuver on sands fine enough to soften a hundred foot fall, leaving him stranded and helpless against Ten Rings soldiers walking right up to him and shooting him in the face through whatever window allows him to see out of the behemoth. Treads are not the be-all end-all solution to all possible forms of terrain.
    • The terrorists told Tony they wanted him to make weapons for them. He did just that; he made a weapon with them specifically in mind, he gave it to them, and he was even kind enough to provide a demonstration of just what it could do. In a way it's Fridge Brilliance because it's an extreme version of Tony Stark's penchant for snark and sarcasm.
    • Tony'd caught a chest full of shrapnel and seen three airmen cut to pieces within a few feet of him when he was captured. He's going to make self-protection against more bullet or shrapnel wounds a top priority, and regular body armor clearly won't cut it, considering he had a vest on when he was hit and still ended up battery-powered.

    Armor plating on first suit 

  • Here's a minor one and it has Fridge Logic and factual inaccuracy mixed in, but at one point in the escape, the closest the terrorists come to stopping Tony in his jalopy of an Iron Man suit at the beginning is shooting him with a Browning 50 caliber machine gun-one of the biggest and most powerful machine guns ever and is a machine gun that can shoot through concrete walls. The only way to suspend disbelief that those rocket shells that Tony uses for armor in the beginning (with some big pieces of cloth in between) is to explain or expect us to know that the armor is some of that great "scientific breakthrough" Star Trek kind of armor and looks thin but is really strong. If THATS the case, then you have All There in the Manual.
    • Stark is able to build a supersonic jet engine powered by a reactor the size of a coaster and can design inch-thin armor plating that can deflect direct hits from tank shells. I think coming up with armor plating that can stand up to .50 caliber rounds is not an issue here with the demonstrated technical genius this guy has.
    • Well, let's look at the numbers. .50 BMG armor piercing can defeat 3/4" (19mm) of steel at 500 yards. However, they may not have been using AP ammunition, and Tony's suit may not have been made of steel.
    • Rephrasing for the sake of clarity: The OP was referring to the Mark I Iron Man suit, which was made in the oft-mentioned cave, with substandard parts - in other words, nothing that should stand up to the 50-cal.
    • Even the 5.56mm bullets in the terrorists' assault rifles would have punched through the steel used in the first armored suit with little problem.
    • Tony makes a cold-fusion reactor IN A CAVE! WITH A BOX OF SCRAPS. Where exactly do you think he'd have problems refining/hardening the missiles' outer shell into something to make nigh-impenetrable armor out of?
    • They had somehow got their hands on the spare parts needed to make the Jericho missiles, and a missile going that fast needs a structure made with something strong to not break up or damage the internal components due to its own speed. Whatever it was it was stronger than steel rolled homogeneous armor, and that thickness was enough to survive non-AP .50 BMG rounds. AP or multi-purpose rounds would have probably teared through the armor, but the Ten Rings either didn't have them on hand or didn't think to use them.
    • I think we're missing a point here - physics is a bit more lenient in the MCU. Stark falls out of the sky from at least a couple hundred feet up - twice, the second time having been hit by a tank shell - and it doesn't slow him down. He gets pancaked into the ceiling of his own lab while he's testing the boots during the Mk. 2 development. He should have been pulp with the first two, and should have had multiple internal injuries from the latter. Either Tony is Made of Iron, or the MCU is operating on Rule of Cool and Rule of Funny.
    • Simple, Tony used multiple weapons to create a series of titanium armor plates backed with leather for energy absorbtion followed by another layer of steel. First layer slows the bullets, leather catches them, and second layer of steel stops them entirely. Anything below the .50 Browning doesn't stand much of a chance of penetrating while the Browing at a distance isn't enough to permanently put Tony down. Obviously this would weigh a ton but then the suit is fitted with motors that help him lift the weight.


  • Speaking of escaping, the terrorists have assault rifles. With scopes on them. And the iron suit had giant eyeholes. With over a dozen terrorists shooting at Tony, not one of them manages to hit him in one of the gaping holes? I went paint balling last week and even using the "spray-and-pray" technique, with a less accurate gun, from farther away, I shot four people in the mask. There's suspension of disbelief, but that's ridiculous.
    • Someone has never fired an assault rifle in a combat situation before. They're aiming at an inch-wide, moving target in the dark while panicking and fleeing. That would be a hard target to hit if you were target shooting, let alone against a moving target that is fighting back, in close quarters, in the dark, while your body is shaking from adrenaline and terror. Plus, Tony could have filled the eye slits with ballistic glass - just like tanks in real life are fitted.
    • Plus, even if you're used to fighting soldiers, you've now got an armored, presumably indestructible behemoth storming towards you. Rational thinking is out to lunch, and it probably took bladder control along.
    • There's also the fact that the Ten Rings seems to employ what appear to be lightly-trained soldiers who mostly seem to fire from the hips on full-auto - which, while deplorable, is actually commonplace enough. Asking these guys to hit a target as small as the eyeholes is probably too much.
    • Alternately, they're too well-trained: Most modern soldiers are trained to shoot at the center-of-mass (ie. torso). In the middle of a high stress combat situation, the training would kick in.
    • Also there could be the "Batman" thinking, the bat symbol on his chest is an obvious target, but its a fake out, it actually has the strongest armor on the suit, so in iron man they see this big glowing arc reactor and begin firing in that general area, easier target.

    Big reactor 

  • If Tony Stark can build a tiny, incredibly efficient, apparently free power source in a cave, from nothing, why is the huge arc reactor in the warehouse there at all? it's obvious Tony's been inventing new stuff, I.E. the Jericho missile, and not simply leaving the company stagnant, and has the ability to build one. it seems downright stupid that he didn't think to make his company millions more by creating what appears to be essentially portable nuclear power, with no radiation?
    • Who ever said Tony invented the Jericho missile? Did you see Stark Industries has a flipping army of engineers and Tony spends his days tinkering with his hot rods.
    • After Tony gets back from Afghanistan and is discussing the future of Stark Industries with Stane, Stane straight-up states that Arc Reactor technology is not cost efficient (for whatever reason). When Tony tells him that he'd like to explore the technology further, he likely isn't referring to just the miniaturization, but the efficiency as well.
    • Also see what happens next in this scene. Stane notices and asks to see what Tony knows, Tony shows the new and improved miniature Arc Reactor, and Stane looked visibly impressed.
    • Duress. He had to figure out how to make a miniaturized arc reactor or die. He didn't need to before, because he was already rolling in money and saw no need to engineer one until he realized he would need to build one to survive. He might not have even realized he could miniaturize the arc reactor until he found the need to do so, and Stane himself said that arc reactor tech was useless and not cost effective, so I'm not surprised Tony didn't follow up on it until he realized he needed to.
    • Specifically, the Arc Reactor is a source of great an apparently ridiculous cost (which is never shown of course). Presumably, it can generate a lot of power, but either a) costs a lot to make, or b) has a high megawatt/hour cost. Current power generation generally costs abut $5 a megawatt if I remember correctly. Assumption leads us to the fact that the Arc Reactor has a higher power generation cost, with the only advantage being totally clean (but not totally safe) power.
    • C) The cost is in the Palladium. The bigger version might have to use more, or might have to have it replaced occasionally, or it just cost such a ridiculous amount in the first place and not generate enough power to run everything that it still hasn't paid for itself, or something of that nature.
    • He obviously didn't figure out how to miniaturize it until after he was captured. That's why when he comes back, he decides he wants to move away from weapons manufacturing and develop the arc reactor more. And since it's smaller and more efficient, it consumes much less fuel, powering the first Iron Man suit with a urinal-cake-sized glob of phlebotinum. And as long as I'm here, energy is measured in kilowatt-hours, which I believe are about 8 cents each right now. Power is measured in kilowatts, or megawatts for the power plant itself. Nuclear aircraft carriers are apparently capable of putting out 200 MW of power, and Evangelions require something in that ballpark to operate.
    • And somehow that little Arc Reactor is putting out 3000MW.
    • Peak power, anyway. Might not last long at that output.
    • Maybe Tony could have made a smaller arc reactor years ago. But if he did, he would not have been able to work on other projects because minimizing would take up all his attention. Since he already had an arc reactor and his new projects were probably cooler, Tony didn't mention this so he could do what he wanted instead. It was only when he needed a smaller version that he used his previous knowledge.
    • Stane says that he and Tony agreed on this point before the capture: arc reactor technology is a "science project" put up to "keep the hippies happy". Before his epiphany, Tony was kind of a dick. We can presume he preferred to rest comfortably on the laurels of an awesome power generating source no-one else could replicate while his company designs enormously profitable variation-on-a-theme weapons technology for Uncle Sam. Also, once you've sold Virtually Infinite Power (TM) to the common man, what do you sell him next? Stark's running a business here.
    • That was always my assumption: that Tony had at least suspected how to miniaturize the Arc Reactor for quite awhile, but not done it for various reasons. Maybe because it wasn't necessary, maybe because it would be too absurdly powerful. After all, if you're engineering in a cave with only a few weeks to come up with a replacement power supply to save your life, what are you going to do: spend your time trying to build something you don't know is even possible, or build something you know works?
    • Stane says that they "haven't had a breakthrough in thirty years" regarding Arc Reactor technology. Tony is thirty-odd years old. Which means that the last breakthrough was during Howard Stark's time; in other words, the big reactor was invented by Tony's father. It wasn't until Tony was forced to miniaturize the technology while in captivity that he improved on his father's work.
    • My idea was that Tony did little technical work for Stark Enterprises before his epiphany. He gallivanted around the world attracting the public eye, always flashy and handsome, presenting new weapons, partying like crazy and in general being an awesome PR person; he had great capacity for engineering and invention, but he preferred to use it on his hotrods than on his business. Then he found himself in danger, had to apply his technical skills to practical purposes, and achieved awesome results.
    • ^ This. In the opening sequence (after the attack when they flashback to 72 hours earlier), they give a rundown on the company and what Tony has been up to... at least according to all the articles and news shows. Tony was a figure head to an arms company that ran perfectly fine without his input for years. Once he "took over" it appears to all be a propaganda stunt to have a "true Stark" running Stark Industries. Tony himself was a spoiled rich kid with daddy issues that could not have cared less about where his money came from as long as it kept coming. He is the figure head for the company, appearing at events and accepting awards and being the face of the company. The awards ceremony even speaks to the idea that Tony doesn't even do that much and is often absent from what few events he is scheduled to attend. The reason he wants to move in a different direction after his time in the cave is that for the time he was there, his eyes were opened for the first time to what was really going on, and his little bubble universe of "me" got popped. Now he is taking a stand and trying to be the man he believes he should be. Also, sober.
    • If the Power Sources that Stark uses to power his suits are in fact reactors why would the Mark 1 source only power the Mark 1 suit for fifteen minutes? If it generates enough power to power the suit for one second the reactor would power the suit until the reactor stopped working. Later in the movie JARVIS warns Tony that the reactor is at lower and lower power levels. Same problem.
    • There's also the fact that he uses the wrong units when describing the arc reactor to his assistant in the cave. He says its output is, if I recall correctly, "3 gigajoules per second". This only tells us how much power it puts out, not how much total potential energy it has. It may put out 3 gigajoules per second, but only for a few minutes. There's no way the assistant could deduce from this that it could power his heart for 50 lifetimes. In other news, according to That Other Wiki, one single joule is enough energy to lift a small apple 1 meter straight up.
    • 3 Gigajoules per second = 3 Gigawatts of Power. That is the power output of three large nuclear reactors. The problem is that the reactor is supposed to be a generator, not a battery. When the reactor "ran out" of power, it should have shut down completely and killed him unless he replaced it. Either it produces energy constantly or it stores it for later use, not both.
    • This is straying into WMG territory, but perhaps 3GW is the "safe" operating capacity for the Mk I reactor, and using it in the Mk III suit pushes it beyond those capabilities to the point that it temporarily burns out or runs low on fuel. Also, remember that Jarvis is the controlling intelligence for the suit's subsystems and has a programmed interest in prolonging Tony's life. Presumably once the reactor becomes drained or damaged enough to risk depowering the electromagnet, Jarvis automatically cuts all power to the rest of the suit to keep Tony from dying.
    • It was only draining so fast because of the sustained flight, the first reactor isn't as efficient as his newer one, and powered flight has to be a massive power drain, notice how quickly the energy drains when he flies straight up compared to when he was simply fighting on the ground.
    • Tony didn't say the Mark I reactor would power the Mark 1 suit for 15 minutes. He said it would power something "really big" (Read: The Mark III suit) for 15 minutes. The Mark III suit had a lot more going on, so it drained a lot more power from the smaller reactor.
    • I haven't seen the film recently, but note the fact that the Mark I is awesome for a little while, gets him out of the cave of scraps, and then crashes a couple miles out. 15 minutes is an alright estimate.
    • Unless the arc reactor is a free energy device, generators don't make energy out of nothing; it's got to be burning something, so it's not unreasonable to suppose that it's got a maximum total output based on some sort of fuel supply.
    • It IS a free energy device, isn't it? It's just so damn expensive and inefficient that nobody wants it. Then Tony built a good one IN A CAVE! WITH A BOX OF SCRAPS!
    • It's burning arks, of course. Tony has access to that warehouse, and has been feeding little bits of the Ark of the Covenant into his reactor. We just didn't see that because there were no Nazis around for it to melt.
    • Tony Stark sneers at Nazi science! Wait, what?
    • I just thought I'd point out that the reactor DOES use a fuel source, and the "something big for fifteen minutes" line was obviously supposed to be a jokey exaggeration on the part of Tony Stark. He didn't literally mean exactly fifteen minutes...
    • Yes, I'm pretty sure the movie says somewhere that the arc reactor isn't a free energy device, it has some sort of fuel. And you can either use the fuel slowly to power an electromagnet, or quickly to power something really big. For fifteen minutes. IN A CAVE. Sorry, got distracted. As for the battery thing, I guess Tony's just really good at guessing how long it will last and never quite running low enough to have a heart attack.
    • The second movie answers this with the palladium cores Tony is burning through. Continuous usage of the Mk.III is burning them up faster. One can only imagine what the Mk.III did to a weaker core.
    • Not really. He says the core is ruined because of "neutron damage". The implication is that the palladium is being ruined by radiation from the reactor, hence the disintegrated palladium leaching into Tony's bloodstream. The new element is needed because it can withstand the radiation without disintegrating, and as an added bonus it provides a higher power output.
    • Between what we learn in the second movie and Captain America: The First Avenger, it is clear that however the Arc Reactor operates, it has something to do with Asgard tech and the Tesseract Cube. It may quite literally be running on Magitek.
    • Entirely probable considering what Thor explains to Jane Foster about how the Asgardians use what we might call magic and science mixed together. They way he explains it, it all sounds like just another step of technological evolution that we Midgardians are getting close to potentially achieving. Enter Tony Stark, Bruce Banner, Hank Pym, Peter Parker and the many other scientists of the Marvel Universe. All doing major breakthroughs in science that seem more like magic to the untrained eye, but they know exactly how it all works.
    • And given what we're told about magic in Doctor Strange, this neatly ties everything up: the Arc Reactor may be tapping into energies from the multiverse, which would explain its free energy nature. Tony Stark's "superpower" is to think outside the box — the box, in this case, being our universe. Given how quickly he later solves another major physics problem in Endgame, it fits pretty well.

    Making a Jericho 

  • Why did the terrorists force Stark to make them one of his missiles, when his company was already giving them all the Stark weaponry they wanted?
    • At the time Stark was kidnapped, Stark Industries was taking the very first advance orders for the Jericho, which was still in the 'prototype demonstrator' stage. Since Stane can't sell the Ten Rings things that aren't in the warehouse yet, it wasn't until months later that they were in production long enough to build up a large enough inventory that consignments could be "lost" from it. Remember, Stark spends three months in the cave, and there is at least three more months between Stark's return to America and the breaking news reports of Jericho missiles at Golmira.
    • There is also that 'make Stark build us a missile' is their backup backup plan. The first plan was 'The Ten Rings takes a contract from Stane to kill some guy in the desert'. Upon discovering that the guy in question was Tony Stark himself that they were going to kill, the Ten Rings then left him alive and sent Stane a ransom videotape demanding more money. When Stane apparently told them to go screw, they were then left with a hostage that they couldn't make any more cash off of, yet was still too valuable to just get rid of. At this juncture, 'Make him build us his latest super weapon!' was probably the most coherent idea raised at the terrorist brainstorming session.
    • Terrorist brainstorming session would be an awesome name for a band.
    • But trigger an NSA probe every time someone searched for you on iTunes.


  • "The Golmira atrocity?" "A modern-day descent into hell?" Seriously, they thought evacuating everyone from a small town and killing some of the men was going to shock everyone?
    • They weren't going to kill the men. They were going to conscript the men into their army as grunts, using their families in the village to ensure their compliance. The conscripted men (with modern weapons) then go forth to other villages, press-ganging more men in and leaving more unprotected villages in the expanding Ten Rings territory to ensure that units of their drafted army don't get frisky. (As you can always use units raised from one location to massacre villages at another location — especially once you start factoring in local, regional, and tribal rivalries.) This is standard Third World warlord recruiting tactics. And if you can keep outside nations from intervening long enough, and/or have a modern weapons supplier and sufficient funding, you can actually go from 'Bunch of guys hiding in a cave' to 'Running your own nation'. As a historical example, see Castro's takeover of Cuba.
    • Doesn't that mean all the people Iron Man killed were forced soldiers? That's a bit... depressing.
    • Nah, he was hitting them early enough in the process that it was still the core group. Note that the leader of the goons at the village was the same fat bearded guy that was sub-boss of the team that was holding Stark prisoner.
    • There is no proof he actually kills the soldiers. He gravity-guns some of them around, and yeah, he sure as hell breaks some bones, but this being Hollywood it doesn't necessarily follow that they all die; others he fires guided darts at, but they could easily be tranquilizers. The only one who ends up properly dead is the leader - we don't get to see his departure of this world either, but it's implicit.
    • I'd wager getting uppercutted into the top of a 3-story building hard enough to crack the wall kills a person. You could argue that the repulser blasts were on a low setting or that the "human shield" guys were hit by tranquilizer darts, but that first guy is dead.
    • Personally, I think it's just one of those things where they couldn't show you REAL atrocity without getting this movie an R rating. It's still gotta stay marketable to kids. I just assumed all the really horrible stuff happens offscreen.
    • After all, this is Iron Man (with a PG-13 rating), not Rambo (which is rated R, and actually shows the terrible things the antagonists do to civilians).
    • Well, when you think about it from an in-universe perspective, there are certain things that just can't be shown on TV. How do you know the news agency didn't chose to explain the situation in word for a reason? Also one might argue that the REAL horrors are occurring too far deep for the cameras to go.
    • Did it shock everyone? I thought the main reason that Tony Stark ever found out was that they were his weapons.
    • This probably shows how horribly cynical I am, but personally I found the fact that a major news station and reporters from Brown would actually care enough to broadcast this (outside of a blip in the "international" section of a news website) to be the most unbelievable part of the movie.
    • Ditto. How many inhabitants did Gulmira have before the attack? A thousand? Two? The place seems to be little more than a shantytown. Nobody would care if the place got razed to the ground.
    • True, but having video is a novelty. That would get you on the air, although the idea that it would become well-known enough have a proper name is more than a bit overblown.
    • Plus, given the accent of the reporter, it was probably a Brand X version of either BBC America or al-Jazeera English. The latter would make the most sense given the region, and be available for Tony to watch if he had satellite TV.
    • And only five people died in the Boston massacre.
    • It wouldn't be the first time the media blew a relatively small and isolated incident completely out of proportion.
    • Okay they didn't show all that much of the news footage. But wasn't the REAL story the fact that a major US arms company seemed to be shipping these terrorists weapons right off the shelf made in the good ol' U.S. of A? That's what alerted Tony to the situation in the first place, did the news agencies simply not choose to report this? Also wouldn't this have a MASSIVE effect on Stark Industries' stock price? It would probably be a waste of time to report on the whole situation from a news perspective if one didn't play up the "Stark Weapons" angle.
    • I don't see people screeching and hollering when modern day terrorists use weapons that are clearly being made by Fabrique Nationale, Colt, Raytheon, etc. The reason is simple: the black market. They can acquire these weapons via theft and purchasing them via the black market. As far as the military and the media is concerned, it's entirely reasonable and possible that the Ten Rings might have acquired Stark Industries weapons via theft. Stane could have easily explained it away by saying that the weapons were stolen.
    • There is a big difference between terrorists getting their hands on basic firearms that have been in production for years, if not decades, and sold all over the world, even to civilians; and getting their hands on precision-guided thermobaric cluster artillery so state-of-the-art that even the US Army, for whom it was designed, have not deployed it yet. Claiming it was stolen would not help at all. It's an admission of near-treasonable incompetence. When it comes to highly classified weapons technology, in a very real sense, the government is the owner, not the inventor or builder. If SI's security is poor enough that top secret weapons tech can be stolen, they're likely to be shut down. There is no cover-up that can withstand seriously detailed scrutiny. The key to getting away with shit is to not be suspected in the first place, and yet the presence of SI weapons tech in the hands of the Ten Rings was bound to be noticed eventually, sparking a massive investigation. Which is why Stane's activities make no sense.
    • Yes, but remember, post-epiphany-Tony's new bottom line was "ACCOUNTABILITY!!!!". That was why Christine Everhart got up in his grill about Golmira in the first place. Tony came back to the States with this whole changed outlook about his weapons and the military-industrial-complex. He came back to try and dissolve the system and make a difference. Then, Christine goes and sees that the same shit is happening. Remember, Christine was the one who called Tony out for his war-profiteering from the beginning, so she was probably a little sweet on the idea that her pestering might have helped reform the "biggest mass-murderer in US history". When she found out about Golmira, her ego was bruised because, in her mind, she bought into Tony's BS. And Tony, who genuinely wanted to make a better world, was none-too-thrilled about finding that despite his efforts, not a damn thing had changed.
    • Speaking of Miz Brown, here's a huge one: how the HELL does a reporter from Vanity Fair have military intelligence grade photographs of smuggled weapons that not even the guy who MAKES the weapons knew existed? How did Vanity Fair find out that Stark Industries is shipping weapons to the Middle East to sell to terrorists, when the company's own CEO had no idea? I mean never mind trying to explain how there was no one whistle blower in the whole company who looked at the beans, counted them, and then asked "where are all our extremely deadly beans going?" - who the hell is her source? Frankly, I'm operating under the assumption she's a SHIELD plant and doesn't work for Vanity Fair at all, and Tony's just being dim and not questioning it.
    • Well Tony Stark's been shut up in his mansion developing the Iron Man suits, and maybe Christine switched jobs or was got interested in Tony Stark.
    • She's almost certainly an independent journalist who was just doing a piece for Vanity Fair when she and Tony welded their struts. The pictures she had came from a source in Afghanistan in one of the villages being attacked, and could easily have been anyone with a camera app on their phone snapping a quick picture.
    • As to why Stane might have a bigger problem just saying "They were stolen" than, say, Colt: Stark Industries is exclusively a military contractor. There's no evidence that they have a civilian market for their weapons. It's a lot harder to justify saying that a multi-million dollar missile intended for the US military has gone missing than it is to say how a bunch of semiautomatic pistols retailing for under a $1000 apiece that might have been intended for a gun store somewhere went missing.

    Instant expert 

  • Why is it that Tony Stark took MONTHS to learn how to safely maneuver in the Iron Man Suit, but Stane was expert immediately?
    • In the comics, Stane had an external remote computer support directing his suit's movement. It's easy to imagine arranging something similar in the film.
    • We don't have to imagine it. At the end of the fight, Stane says 'You've disabled my targeting computers!' and then repeatedly proves unable to hit a stationary Tony Stark at fifteen feet once reduced to manual-only controls. So we have on-screen evidence that Stane was using computer-augmented suit operation, although not an external computer this time.
    • Not to mention that all Stane does is fly his suit in a near-straight line, fire the cannons and missiles, and punch things. Plus, it looked like his suit was a self-contained cockpit, unlike Tony's suit, where the flight systems were directly controlled by his hands and feet. Stane just simply has to direct his suit to fly in a specific direction, and the computers would take care of it.
    • I think the bigger difference is that Stark was wearing his suit, so he'd be perfectly used to complex maneuvers such as walking and picking things up, where Stane had to be cooped up in the torso steering conventionally. Also, wasn't the only maneuver that Stark had trouble with flying? He even learned to do that fairly quickly.
    • Stane is The Dude. And The Dude abides.
    • One would have to assume that the process was used to work out bugs in the computer and mechanical systems. Something that never really occurred with Stane's outfit, thus making the above mentioned concern valid.
    • Remember, Tony built the suit for him and only him, and would know exactly how it works with a minimum of assistance. Stane plans to market the rip-off suits, and so just loads up with computer assistance. When Tony pulls his Are These Wires Important?, Stane can't hit the broad side of a barn.
    • Most barns are big enough that they'd be hit by that level of accuracy.
    • I always thought it was more that Tony took months to fine-tune the suit to work with the more sophisticated reactor. Aside from the boosters throwing him into the walls sometimes and a distinct lack of steering, he didn't really have many problems with it. (As well as that, he didn't really steer in the first suit, either—just blasted off and hoped for the best.)
    • Okay now take that same logic and apply it to Rhodey stealing the MK II in the sequel. At least Stane's was custom built for him, and he had all the time he wanted to work the kinks out before trying to take on Iron Man. Rhodey just seemed to be able to jump in Tony's suit and fight in it with no more difficulty than if he had borrowed Tony's gym clothes for a round in the boxing ring. (speaking of which, have you ever borrowed clothes from somebody that wasn't quite your size, then tried to do something strenuous like fighting? Yeah, imagine the pinching from a suit of Power Armor.)
    • Tony and Rhodey were best buds. I can see him letting Rhodey take one of the older suits out for a spin if he'd asked for it. And they seem to be fairly intuitive anyway.
    • The suit was already fully constructed, so he didn't have to work out the kinks. He had from the time he suited up to the time he got upstairs to figure out basic movement, and he didn't really seem to have much else beyond that down. Remember when they went through the wall, and Rhodey hit the ground less than gracefully and rolled while Tony easily stopped his momentum using the stabilizers? And how shakey and uneven his hovering was when he came up through the hole in the floor, after throwing Tony? Aside from the one repulsor at the end, he didn't really seem to know how to use the weapons, and even that one repulsor came after he'd already worked out the hovering (remember, the repulsors are flight stabilizers). Rhodey was clearly still learning to operate the suit during the fight.
    • Note also that the suits seem to be self-adjusting and self-fitting when Stark is suiting up - the armor is very segmented and the panels and plates shift and lock in place while Stark is suiting up, which to me indicates that there's some kind of system in place that molds the armor's internal frame to match the wearer's body. Considering the tech already shown in Stark's basement, including a scanning device that already measures size, shape, and proportions (i.e. scanning the model of the Stark Expo) and the fact that Tony can wear different kinds of clothing underneath the same armor (i.e. tuxedos, tank-tops, bodygloves, etc) without the clothes being affected (hell, his tux doesn't even have any wrinkles on it!) it would be reasonable enough to conclude that Rhodes could walk in there and ask JARVIS to scan him and adjust the suit to fit his frame.
    • He would probably not need to adjust it to fit his frame. And he would know that, too.
    • Oh, is THAT why we had an actor switch?
    • And on the whole "best buds" thing, there's a line about how the suits have locks and such to prevent "unauthorized usage." Rhodey was clearly authorized to use the suit.
    • He was certainly authorized to use it, he just didn't know it. Remember Tony thinks he's dying and it's the same reason he appoints Pepper as CEO - he needs someone to replace him. If Rhodey had never been in the suit before, there's no reason he would find it unusual if he walked up to a suit, banged on the chest and yelled at it to "open up" a couple of times before JARVIS helpfully opened it up, prepared the suit for him and gave him some basic operating instructions. Tony wanted him in the suit so he would have made it as convenient as possible without going too far so as to make Rhodey suspicious that it could be some kind of trap. Hence he had the basic operation handed to him, but more complex things like weapons and flight he had to work out on his own once he was in the suit.
    • Think back to the first film, as well. Remember when Tony went to see Rhodey in the hangar to tell him about his new project, where Rhodey blew him off when he told him it wasn't a military project? The novelization explained that what Tony really wanted was for Rhodey to pilot the suit. He wanted somebody trustworthy to do it, and besides Pepper, Rhodey was pretty much the only person Tony fully trusted at that time. Rhodey was uninterested (though had he listened, he'd have probably jumped in based on the cool factor of the technology) so Tony piloted the suit himself. It's not unreasonable to assume that since Tony knew he was dying, he would have the forethought to believe the world still needed Iron Man. Being aware of what happened when his technology fell into the wrong hands before, he would only allow Rhodey to pilot his suits. Maybe it was Tony's drunkenness, but he didn't seem surprised at all to see Rhodey wearing the MkII, and as stated above, Black Widow noted that nobody can pilot Tony's suits without his permission. And even though the film never said it, I can't imagine Tony had no kill switch or something for the MkII if he really didn't want Rhodey to have the suit. He probably didn't figure he'd take it to Justin Hammer for weaponization, but if he didn't want Rhodey to have the suit, he probably wouldn't have made it out of the house with it.

    Killing Tony 

  • Why did Stane try to have Tony killed in the first place? He was an absolute genius at weapons engineering and he didn't seem to display the slightest inclination to mess with the company's shadier dealings before the kidnapping.
    • Seizing an opportunity as it came by? Given his apparent position among Tony's heirs, killing Tony Stark at home makes Stane an obvious suspect no matter how subtle he is. On the other hand, Tony getting blown up by terrorists in Afghanistan leaves him entirely clean. And Tony probably doesn't go to Afghanistan very often, so, take the shot while you have it.
    • I guess Stane had a chip on his shoulder, and didn't like how Stark was pissing everyone's good will down the drain with his womanizing and stupid behavior. Maybe he was offended that such talent should be wasted on someone so irresponsible.
    • There's a great shot at the beginning of the movie which sums up my answer to this; it's a magazine cover from when Tony took charge of the company from Stane after Stane acted as regent; Tony's front and centre, and Stane's been pushed clear into the background. Even in the staged pose, Stane doesn't look entirely happy about it. Yep — simple, good-old-fashioned jealousy. Stane wanted to be top dog.
    • Speaking of those magazine covers, one of them uses a headline referring to Tony taking the "reigns". This editor fairly sure the expression is "taking the reins" - either someone made a proofreading slip-up in their big-budget movie, it's a really bad pun, or all instances of this phrase the editor has read or heard in her entire life have actually been wrong.
    • No, don't worry, you're correct. A lot of writers mix this one up, due to the two being homophones and having approximately the same meaning—taking control via steering instruments used to control horses vs. taking control via throne, crown, divine right and other royal paraphernalia. But it should be "reins," as in, "he took the reins of the business."
    • Newspaper editors, as a rule, love bad puns.
    • This is subtly indicated in the scene where Stane is playing the piano: the piece he's playing is by Salieri, a less-talented contemporary of Mozart who is believed by some to have poisoned him out of jealousy. (This isn't actually true, but it's the perception that matters. Stane saw himself as overshadowed by Tony, just as Salieri was overshadowed by Mozart.)
    • Also, Stane seems to like being evil just for the hell of it. I mean, his endgame plan was to murder a bunch of federal agents, then murder his boss, and kill a bunch of innocent civilians, in a way that he could not possibly cover up or attribute to anyone other than himself, while selling weapons to terrorists which have his company's name painted on them in big block letters leaving no doubt where they came from. I think it's safe to say that Stane is the kind of evil who just doesn't care if his plans make sense, so long as they're evil.
    • To quote another Marvel movie villain, "I like being bad it makes me happy"
    • To be fair, that that point, Stane's crimes were already exposed to SHIELD and Pepper had a flash drive filled with more than enough evidence to get him convicted of treason. He really had no other option BUT wreak mass mayhem.
    • I got the impression that Stane's plan at that point was to kill Tony and snatch the Arc Reactor from him, and use that as a bargaining chip to convince the military to sweep the whole thing under the rug, if he'd keep them supplied with Arc Reactor-powered super soldier suits. When the SHIELD agents showed up, he obviously wasn't expecting them to arrive, and moved to defend himself from them. He didn't expect Tony to intervene at that moment either, which is what led to the chaotic battle in the street.
    • Yeah, Stane's endgame plan was actually to have Tony removed from the company, reconstruct the Iron Man technology by reverse-engineering the Mark I, sell Iron Man tech as Stark Industries' brand new super weapon, and make a fortune. The first hurdle came when his engineers couldn't make a smaller Arc Reactor, but even then, he made no indication that he was contemplating murdering Tony Stark and stealing his; it would be far too noticeable than his original plan of having him killed by terrorists. However, from the moment Stane watched Pepper walk out the door with an escort of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, his options suddenly became extremely limited. Faced with the prospect of having federal agents at his doorstep with evidence of his crimes and the inevitability of going to prison for attempted murder and treason, Stane panicked. His new plan became killing Tony, taking his Arc Reactor, using it to power the Iron Monger, stealing the Iron Monger, and escaping to anywhere that he couldn't be found while he worked out where to go from there. S.H.I.E.L.D. cornered him in the lab, and he had to fight his way out through them to escape. Then Iron Man intervened, and Stane had to kill him too before he'd be able to make good on his escape.


  • ... If most of the reason that Tony becomes an alcoholic later is because Stane takes control of the company, and by the end of the film Stane is dead- if they plan to develop that subplot in the next movie, won't they have to make something up entirely?
    • Arguably, he's already an alcoholic in THIS movie, they just haven't addressed it yet. Besides, it wouldn't be the first time filmmakers changes stuff from the comic book when they adapt it to the silver screen.
    • Tony was already downing alcohol in the first few scenes like a man dying of thirst, before he was kidnapped.
    • I don't think there's a single scene in the movie outside of the cave and a few workshop bits where Tony doesn't have some sort of alcoholic beverage in his hand.
    • Worth noting is that Dr. Yinsen (the scientist in the cave) recalled attending an event where Tony was speaking... and that Tony was completely drunk during his delivery.
    • Furthermore, "Demon In a Bottle" came out years before Stane was introduced. All Stane did in the comics was to learn about that weakness in Stark and drive him to drink again.
    • Yeah, it looks to me like Tony already has a drink problem. Tony's personality seems to be based largely on the Ultimate Marvel version, who at one point has the memorable line
      Black Widow: Is it really necessary to knock back so many vodkas before you fly that thing?
      Iron Man: Absolutely. Who in their right mind would climb into it sober?
    • While Stane may no longer factor into the equation, it looks like the movie's writers decided to run with their own version of the storyline in the second film, replacing his dependency on alcohol with impulsive/self-destructive behavior in reaction to the fact that he was being poisoned by his own reactor. The themes are similar, but the Phlebotinum fueled version is slightly more Moral Guardian friendly than alcohol (even though it is PG 13). While the cause is different, the themes are similar in that Tony must rise above his own foibles and deal with his problems with the help of his friends and allies in order to save himself.
    • Alternately, it might be that once he's dying of Palladium poisoning, he's drinking even MORE than before. Perhaps it dulls the pain.


  • How, exactly, does the bad guy expect to go on a super-suit powered rampage through the middle of a city, kill Tony Stark, and then go on with his life as though nothing happened? A lot of people know exactly who is wearing that suit, so wouldn't he just end up in jail for murder once he takes it off?
    • Perhaps he stopped behaving rationally when he knew for a fact that agents of SHIELD were coming to arrest him anyway?
    • There's also that as far as Stane knows at the time, the 'lot of people' in question are Pepper, Agent Coulson and his squad, and nobody else. So, put on the suit, burn down the factory, kill Pepper and the SHIELD agents, then take the suit off once all the evidence is gone and blame everything on some runaway giant robot or psycho armored terrorist of unknown identity. Not bad for a villain improvising desperately on the spot. When it turns out that Tony Stark isn't actually dead after all, at this point Stane knows he's screwed. But by then we're already into the final fight scene, so, hey.
    • And if he kills Tony and the agents, maybe he could have gone underground and ran things from either another country or from afar?
    • Earlier on we hear Pepper say "Obadiah's gone insane!" it may not be the most in depth judgment, but it's good enough.
    • Someone says that about every villain ever; it doesn't actually mean he's had a psychotic episode and developed mental illness.
    • He saw the people looking through the area at the beginning. If they had a warrant, there were people in the police department who knew it was stark. His only sane choices would be to admit to everything and hope not to get punished too badly, or take a car and run. Using the suit would mean that he'd be punished worse if they detain him, there'd be more police (and national guard) there if he tries to run, and he could get killed while in the suit. The thing isn't invincible, after all.
    • No warrant needed. Consent for a warrantless search can be given by a third party if they possess "common authority over or other sufficient relationship to the premises or effects sought to be inspected". For a commercial building, this generally means being someone who is hired to represent the owner's interests and has their own set of keys to the place (as giving someone a set of keys is implied consent from the owner that you have the authority to unlock the building for other people). Pepper is Tony's assistant and has a set of keys — if she lets the police in and invites them to search the place, they have consent.
    • I also got another idea. Perhaps Stane was hoping that a sufficiently effective display of the Iron Monger suit might convince the government to ignore his indiscretions in favor of a steady supply of new power armors. You can bet that more than a few lawmakers and military personnel would take one look at that suit's abilities and consider sweeping Stane's crimes under the rug in exchange for the technology. The plan's batty, but then, so is Stane by that point.
    • Which is probably the only reason that this would work, seeing as the government officials wanted him for supplying weapons to the people they fight as well, a showing of the power he's willing to supply probably wouldn't get him any freedom. He'd have to be very batty to contemplate that. Though that would explain why he left that one guy alive at least. Very Very Batty.
    • My thought on the matter is this: Don't forget his rockets (up until they weren't working at the end). Basically, he kills Tony and the SHIELD agents, and there's no one immediately coming after him. It would take like an hour at least before the government figured out WTF was going on, and by then he could have flown out of US airspace, towards some Banana Republic.
    • Okay, lets' try and compress; Stane has been working his engineers for aaaages trying to build an armor that he can then sell on the black market, and he's even made sure this one has lots of computer assistance as opposed to Stark's fidgety force-feedback gear - any terrorist berk can use one. Except his toadies just keep saying, "Sorry, I can't build a Mini-Phlebotinum Reactor, because I am not Tony Stark!" Then Pepper uncovers evidence he's not only selling weapons to terrorists, he tried to have Stark killed! Stane then comes up with a desperate plan: steal Stark's life-support reactor to power the suit, then use the suit to trash the evidence, kill the witnesses and fly someplace where he can sell the damn thing. Suit working fine, agents dead, just gotta squish Pepper then fly away... "STAAAAAANE!" Time for the big Fight Scene!
    • I was under the impression that Obadiah was acting under panic and desperation. As soon as Pepper got away with the evidence, he was pretty much screwed. He also struck me as the greedy and obsessive kind, so there was no way he was going to just leave without the Iron Monger if he could just complete it and run away with it in one night (All he was really missing was the reactor, which he could steal from Tony... so he did). He was probably ready to run away with the suit and never look back, but then Pepper and the SHIELD agents showed up... well, you know the rest. The suit's not invincible, but I bet anyone would feel like they are if they ever got try it. :p
    • This. His plan was blown when Tony failed to die in the Middle East, but Tony came back with something pretty nifty, so he ran with it. And even then, his entire "plan" was "pay some terrorists to kill Tony". Stane's just a corrupt executive; he's not an evil super genius. After Pepper found the evidence of his crimes and turned it over to S.H.I.E.L.D., the only option available to him was to run. He didn't really have a plan other than "Don't get arrested, don't get killed, and think of something when you're out of the danger zone." He could have done this without the Iron Monger, but he wouldn't get far with S.H.I.E.L.D. after him. He needed to leave the country. There are any number of countries that would probably be willing to take him in if 1) he had a bargaining chip that he could offer in exchange for sanctuary, and 2) he had the means to get there, since airports and borders would be watched. The Iron Monger provides both of these.
    • Or... a failed Magnificent Bastard plan. Had Stane defeated Tony in the climatic battle, he probably would have killed him. At that point, he could have spun a tale along the lines of: Tony was the one who authorized illegal sales and he was being blackmailed into providing assistance. Tony's 'capture' in Afghanistan was merely a ploy by Tony to arrange some terrorist plot involving the Iron Man suits. Stane, being oh so heroic, develops/steals/whatever the Iron Monger suit to stop Tony before he can accomplish his evil goal (and kill Stane for having such 'evidence').
    • Stane thinks Stark is dead, and everyone else who can incriminate him is handily in his reach. All he has to do is kill the SHIELD agents and kill Pepper. When he's done that, remember that the only irreplaceable part of the Iron Monger suit is the reactor: he can just take it (to be given to his tech staff later) and spin up any excuse story to the authorities, perhaps even self-destruct the Iron Monger, and only be delayed a few months in his plans.


  • When Tony Stark is captured by terrorists in Afghanistan, they demand that he manufacture a Jericho missile for them, right there in the cave. That would be impossible, as it would require precision tools that wouldn't exist outside of the manufacturing plant that originally made them. According to my father, an electrical engineer, you can't even put together a cell phone by hand because things need to be aligned with microscopic precision.
    • I would like to point out that Tony was captured by terrorists in Afghanistan, not electrical engineers. As far as they were concerned, Tony Stark = head of Stark Industries, and Stark Industries = weapons manufacturer, therefore Tony Stark = weapons manufacturer.
    • It's possible- indeed probable- that they already had all the components requiring machine precision already assembled or salvaged and only needed the blueprints and assembly between them. They weren't exactly having him work with circuits. For that matter, I have entered a hardware company's board lab, where they can perform some modifications upon motherboards and other computer parts by hand, albeit in an environment of extreme cleanliness and with great care.
    • When they tell Stark that he has to assemble the weapon he points out what he will need and also requests two sets of precision tools. It is a line in the version of the movie I have on dvd.
    • Also, keep in mind that he doesn't actually build the missile. Whether he was actually able to in the first case is kind of a moot point.
    • And then there's the question of the leader never asking anything along the lines of "exactly what part of the Jericho missile requires a human-worn mechanical knee?"
    • That's exactly what happens in the scene where Raza (the bald leader of particular Ten Rings cell) demands to know what's going on, then tells Stark he has one more day to finish building the missile.
    • So you're saying that the proper response is to threaten to feed coals to his partner and tell him to hurry up? Rather than, I don't know, searching the room for evidence of that leg attachment? (Prior to Stark's arrival, that terrorist cell had apparently been mass producing Idiot Balls.)
    • Idiot Ball, sort of. Raza was smart enough to suspect something was up, but he probably assumed that Stark was just making random crap to stall for time. No idea why he thought imposing a time limit would suddenly change Stark's mind, however. Maybe "You have one day" was meant more as "I'd better see some tangible progress by tomorrow" and not "I'd better see a finished missile by tomorrow".
    • Yea, see, if I saw someone working every day on a project (seeming to work at least) and then came in and found them with a mechanical knee thing the assumption would be "This jerkass is screwing around rather than making my missile" instead of the much less Occam friendly "This jerkass is building a robotic suit powered by his pacemaker with which to escape from my cave after defeating my entire garrison."
    • Maybe they realized he couldn't build an exact duplicate of the Jericho, just something that has the same effect.
    • Maybe for the ordinary plebes of electrical engineering, it is impossible, but this is Tony Stark. Stane himself pretty much points out just how outclassed everyone else is when he screams how Tony Stark is able to build technology in a cave with a box of scraps that a fully-equipped engineering team in a state-of-the-art laboratory cannot duplicate because the science does not yet exist to pull it off. That is how far beyond everyone else Tony Stark is when it comes to engineering.
    • Heck, near-impossible engineering is Tony Stark's superpower. Spiderman has spider powers, Wolverine regenerates from anything, HULK SMASH, and Tony Stark literally builds the impossible.
    • So Stark's a Spark?
    • Basically, yes.
    • For crying out loud the guy was able build something akin to a nuclear reactor the size of a fist.
    • Which he built IN A CAVE with A BOX OF SCRAPS.
    • In The Ultimates, which Iron Man is largely based off, Tony is so freakishly intelligent because due to a freak of genetics, he has neural tissue throughout his entire body, in a layer underneath his skin, not just in his brain. Humans may only use 10% of their brain, but when your brain is fifteen times the size of the next guy's thats a lot of extra brainpower. It's also mentioned that this causes Stark continual, burning pain as neurons are firing onto nerves through his body. He's a big drinker because Alcohol numbs the skin and therefore removes the pain.
    • No. It is 10% AT ANY ONE TIME. But if what you say is correct and he's using 10% of that at a time, then yeah, it'd probably provide a boost to intelligence.
    • I'm gonna be pedantic 'cause I really though TV Tropes would be above the myth: The brain uses ALL of its capacity, but MOST of it is NOT directed into the cognitive processes. They're the parts that constitute instinctual knowledge, emotions, memory, coordination, and a fuckton of other things that we wouldn't notice.
    • I think the focus was having 15 times the gray and white matter than the average human, not how close he is to having a seizure.
    • Ahem. 90% of Your Brain.

    Jericho missile 

  • What exactly IS so great about a Jericho missile? It looked to me like a glorified cluster bomb. At least, I don't see why it's considered anything more than something a little more powerful, and at most, I don't think it fulfills any role a MOAB, BLU-82 "daisy cutter", or CBU-97 Sensor Fuzed Weapon couldn't fulfill (and the trend in weapons seems to be more precision to prevent civilian kills and collateral damage, generally not widespread, indiscriminate damage). Also, this might be a second question, but when they were describing the Jericho, they mentioned something about "repulsor technology". What exactly was that supposed to do? The missiles seemed to separate by simple wind resistance, and the missile seemed to be powered by a normal rocket.
    • Much more portable than previous weapons with the same kill power. Actually, I am of the opinion (based upon the overpressure wave and the way the submunitions fly) that the device is a system to deliver very advanced thermobaric explosives with pinpoint accuracy by the dozens. That seems like the sort of thing the military might want.
    • It nearly leveled a mountain and was able to be fired from a really pretty small launcher, allowing use in the field instead of having to call in a B-52. The repulsor technology was, presumably, the rocket driving the missile itself (repulsors are what the suit uses to fly, after all).
    • Yup. The ability to have firepower equivalent to an MLRS battery, but the launcher fits on a Humvee? That's worth buying.
    • Indeed. Also, from what we are shown, repulsor technology uses much less fuel and space than standard rockets. The repulsors on the Iron Man suit fit on the hands and feet, add very little bulk, and are powered by electricity from the arc reactor.
    • That was the idea I got- because the propulsion systems in the mini-missiles take up so little space, they can carry very big payloads for their size.
    • I was under the impression that it was a terror weapon, and was mostly supposed to scare the enemy. As for the precision weapons, maybe he didn't like the idea of putting all your eggs in one basket, and decided to make weapons that would be effective for fighting a first-world country.
    • It is just a glorified cluster bomb. Most moviegoers don't know much about modern military tech. And since real high-tech armaments are all about stealth and accuracy — not being seen and making a clean kill rather than a big kaboom — they aren't very cinematic. So the movie dusted off some half-century-old armaments and played some dramatic music to make it cool.
    • I don't think very many cluster bombs have individually guided submunitions like the Jericho.
    • Actually, there IS one bomb currently in active use that utilizes individually guided submunitions. It is essentially a single bomb that can decimate an entire armored column.
    • The CBU-97 doesn't use high-ex charges though. It just uses kinetically-driven armor-piercing penetrators to hit targets from the top. The Jericho's submunitions are individually-guided explosives. It seems like a weapon well-suited for taking out a variety of targets (armor, infantry, reinforced structures) It could probably also be mounted on Predators or other UAVs. I can imagine how deadly a UAV equipped with its own lightweight cluster-munitions would be.
    • Important to note: missiles and bombs are, in military parlance, not the same thing. Bombs are generally dropped and unpowered. Missiles (and their warheads of which there may be many and of which can generally be targeted individually) fly and are powered. As a weapon, Jericho works behind the same principle as the canceled nuclear rifle (a rifle that shows a nuclear projectile - for very obvious reasons, the military abandoned the idea) - being able to deliver anti-material ability with precision and power within tactical range, avoiding the problems of someone shooting down a missile fired from 100 miles away, electronic countermeasures, and what have you. The benefit is not what the weapon goes boom with - the benefit (for terrorists) is being able to functionally have a fully guided multi-target weapon that can be put into the back of a van. This is not something you can ordinarily do as most if not all current weapons of similar destructiveness would -be- the size of the van.
    • Though, again, having that level of firepower easily available could still be a nice bonus for the conventional military. Weapons like the CBU-97 are heavy and don't carry that many submunitions; weapons that carry that many submunitions are heavy and don't have individual guidance. The Jericho would have greater multiple-target engagement capability than a CBU-97 (which only mounts ten smart bomblets), while being vastly more portable than anything that carried enough "dumb" submunitions to do the same job (like an MLRS rocket).
    • "Repulsor technology" is a reference to the fictional "Laser-guided particle beam emission" found in the comics. In the movie, this is what the "flight stabilizers" were. I assume that on the Jericho it would be, in my opinion, the relatively tiny rocket that propelled the bomb. Basically, it's a science fiction version of a miniature jet engine or laser beam (the term "repulsor" can be found in Star Wars and Star Trek as well as other scifi stories). It's actually a really nice small reference for those who are familiar with the comics.
    • When I first saw it, it seemed like it was designed as a kind of area denial weapon that was intended to collapse cave systems. This is something (I think) that is very difficult to do with modern munitions, and something that would be very useful in a place like Afghanistan.
    • I've wondered why Tony decided to set up three missiles when he only planned to use one. It would have been wise to set up one of them, and keep the other two in a secure vehicle, or vehicles; if the first didn't go off, they'd want to make sure what went wrong, and it would be kind of pointless to have the two backup missiles within a couple feet of the first, on the same launch platform.
    • Very Few weapons demonstrations only end with 1 test-fire. I could imagine him being asked to show a different way to fire it, such as lengthwise as opposed to a spread.
    • But why all three missiles at once? If you've got one missile (or missile launcher) with a problem it's not a good idea to have your backup within a couple of feet of it.
    • This is Tony Stark we're talking about here; If there was a problem with the first missile, he'd probably find it in three minutes, fix it in two, and be downing another scotch on the rocks before it finished launching, having fixed the whole damn thing with a cuff-link and a paper clip.
    • Basically, Repulsor Technology is a way of providing a small but fully functional propulsion system for an object. From the movie, we know that a miniaturized repulsor thruster is small enough to fit in the palm of a man's hand, and 4 of these things operating at 1% power is enough to lift a grown man, and at higher power levels they can propel said grown man, plus power armor, at supersonic speeds capable of outracing F-22 fighters. This means that the propulsion system on a Jericho missile is actually very tiny, as most space on a conventional rocket is taken up by fuel reserves and the part for burning the fuel. With the Jericho, a large amount of space can be freed up to store more things that go boom. Where modern cluster bombs or smart bombs capable of splitting into smaller components like the Jericho are indeed BOMBS which must be dropped from a height to hit a target effectively, the Jericho is essentially a smart cluster bomb-launching MISSILE, which gives you the effects of a cluster bomb capable of destroying entire mountain ranges without the complications calling in air strikes. Just fire and forget.
    • The impression I got was that the submunitions also naturally seek out and guide themselves into caves. So instead of just "fire a bunch of bombs at a cave-infested hillside, hope to actually kill the terrorists instead of just making them spill their tea and maybe inconveniencing them", it's "whatever cave in the mountain range the terrorists are hiding in, they're getting a missile up the pooper."
    • Real-world missiles and rockets vary, but for the most part the insides look like this. The payload is only a small part, the rest is the motor and fuel. The Jericho missile is the opposite. It's hard to see at this angle, but in between the two sets of fins is completely hollow. That's more than half the missile. Imagine filling a fighter jet with dozens of tiny, repulsor-powered missiles that can match conventional missiles. Or artillery batteries and SA Ms that can be towed by Humvees. Or even infantry soldiers who can all carry missiles the size of grenades.


  • Why didn't Phil Coulson use the acronym "S.H.I.E.L.D." from the beginning?
    • Other then it would give away who they are a bit soon, they aren't a very public group so while a layman would know the likes of the FBI, CIA, and NSA, Their response to "S.H.I.E.L.D." would be, "Who?"
    • I'd chalk it up to the Rule of Funny
    • Also, listen closely the first time he tries to introduce himself. I don't remember the whole name, but it starts with "Strategic Defense...". In other words, the acronym wouldn't have been "S.H.I.E.L.D." yet
    • Exactly. At one point, the guy even says "We're still working on the name". The whole thing is an in-joke.
    • But it is possible to pick it up the first time; at least, I did. The first one starts with 'Strategic Homeland...' something or other, prompting me to dwell on how annoyingly topical they were being - when I realized what it must be for.
    • I own the movie, and worked it out to be 'Strategic Homeland Intelligence, Enforcement, and Logistics Division.' Still an in-joke, but of course close to what the original acronym of S.H.I.E.L.D. And of course this entire thing is more really one part Continuity Nod and one part Sequel Hook.
    • Actually I think the I stood for intervention, I'll check at some point using the subtitles
    • If I recall correctly, according to a tie-in comic it's because Nick Fury hadn't noticed it could be turned into an acronym and everyone else assumed he just preferred it that way
    • You recall correctly. The agent (I forget the name, but the one in the movie who keeps trying to get that appointment) slips and uses it around Fury. He starts to back-track but Fury cuts him off, saying that he likes it.
    • May be it's Early-Installment Weirdness but don't they go on to use the acronym SHEID in flashbacks in later movies/series so surely Fury would know there is an acronym by now especially as it was founded in the 40s it'd be like the current head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation not knowing people call it the FBI

    Leaving Tony alive 

  • Why did Stane leave Stark alive after paralyzing him? Did he really think that Tony wouldn't have a backup reactor? Turns out he didn't, other than the inferior prototype, but why would Stane assume that?
    • Because that's the most clean way to go: Nobody saw Tony's arc reactor, but he (and Pepper) So, he hoped him to die from a heart attack, and police finding him dead. The autopsy would leave more questions about how could he had lived for months, than what killed him. Also. Even if he had a backup on his table (which he had) he would be too weak to get it. Stane's plan would have been perfect, if it wasn't for that meddlesome mr. nice robot arm.
    • About the autopsy... the hole in his chest would make it pretty obvious that something more complicated was going on, and it wouldn't be difficult to guess that something necessary to keeping him alive went there. No, I do not believe investigators wouldn't wonder about foul play.
    • Stane is a businessman, not an assassin. It's for the same reason he got Ten Rings to do the dirty deed, he's undoubtedly as hesitant to kill people personally as anyone else would be. If he used a gun for example it could well be tracked back to him. Once he got his suit that seems to go out the window, but then he was getting rather desperate there.
    • Even after he gets the suit, he's either (deep down) hesitant to kill Tony or an extremely poor shot. It could be the latter; without the targeting systems, those missiles could have been hard to control.
    • Maybe he truly cares for him as a friend.
    • I wonder what makes him more caring - ordering a hit to kill him, or leaving him without his only means of survival?
    • Also, Stane's aware that the reactor in Tony's chest is the only thing keeping him alive; presumably he just assumed that once he took it out, the paralysis would last long enough for Tony's wound to finish the job for him. Either the paralysis lasted for less time than Stane thought or Tony's made of stronger stuff.
    • On top of that, if all went as planned, Stane could have gotten away without anyone being able to easily prove that he was the killer. The paralysis weapon leaves no fingerprints or other obvious traces, and the extractor he used to take the reactor out of Tony's chest wouldn't be an easily identified murder weapon. If he'd stabbed or shot Tony, he'd be making things a lot simpler for the forensics people.
    • Besides, Tony wouldn't have had a backup. Remember, when he made the new reactor, he told Pepper to throw the first one away. Tony only survived because Pepper decided to do something really sweet for him instead.
    • "What, I'm going to leave him in peril with one inept guard and assume it all went according to plan." -Dr. Evil, mocking cruel and overly-complex assassination plans.
    • Stane doesn't like getting his hands dirty. It's one thing to order a hit on someone or to fire a missile at them, it's quite another to kill them personally and see their blood and life drain out.
    • Stane has known Tony for a long time, making it somewhat believable that he knows how Tony thinks; the risk of having a copy of his wonder tech that can get stolen is worse than the risk of not having another one instantly available. This might have been a line of thinking that Tony exhibited all the time, enough for Stane to be pretty sure about it. That, combined with him not wanting to directly kill Tony (for both human and pragmatic reasons), and not wanting to stick around lest he get caught in the act. He didn't count on Pepper tapping into Tony's sentiment.

    Making the Iron Monger 

  • Since the only known reactor was with Tony at all times, how in the world could Stane's engineers design a suit that could be powered by it? How did they test it without a power source? How did they make the suit so that the reactor snaps right into place, with the connectors fitting perfectly?
    • They designed it by working from the Mark I suit; since the same reactor works with both the Mark I and the Mark III, then if Stane's people could design a connector to match the original, it would also work with the new-and-improved model. Why they did that is a better question, yes.
    • It's entirely within the realm of possibility that they've never tested the Iron Monger. Stane didn't put it into operation because it was finished and ready to roll out, he put it into operation out of sheer desperation and hoped it would function properly. Unlike the Iron Man armor, the Iron Monger is equipped with standard munitions, its thrusters appear to use actual jet fuel instead of repulsors, it seems to be made using the same alloy the original Mark I was made from instead of upgraded to something all indication, the Iron Monger was an unfinished wreck of a prototype, with the Arc Reactor only really being used to power the hydraulics and computer system, and everything else just being whatever standard weaponry Stane had lying around.
    • I always assumed that they tested it using the arc reactor they already know, the giant one right over their heads. Although they obviously would need a smaller one to actually use the suit in the field.
    • As far as the "why" goes, since the scientists he's got working on it can't create a power source they know exists, asking them to create an entirely new one seems a bit much. (They could probably test the suit by plugging it into the big reactor.)
      • That would make sense. No need for Tony's Arc Reactor until it's time to make the suit mobile and figure out what sort of power requirements it takes to run.
    • Actually, this question has the simplest answer of any of these, and I'm amazed no one has thought of it yet. We know Tony's first suit was built from Stark weapons components, and the second one was probably mostly pre-existing components too, with custom parts being used only when necessary. In short: Tony had no reason to build a custom power socket and plug-ins to fit it when he could just use a pre-existing type.

    Instant effect 

  • When Stane removed the generator from Tony, why did Tony instantly start feeling the shrapnel's effects? The guy back in the terrorists' base said that it would take a week to kill him without the generator, and Tony appears to have been wearing it constantly. By the way, shrapnel doesn't work like that.
    • It might not have actually been killing him that quickly, but having a large hole in your chest with a bit of metal slowly digging into your heart presumably hurts like hell. As for shrapnel not working like that, that's probably something we'll have to ascribe to Comic Book Logic and move on.
    • I assume it was also a pace-maker, and they just forgot to mention it. Why else would he go into cardiac arrest? Having a large whole in your chest shouldn't feel any different whether or not there's an arc reactor in it, and a bit of metal slowly digging into your heart would be totally painless; your heart doesn't have the nerves required to feel pain.
    • It is a pace-maker - remember when Pepper helped Tony put in the new one? Tony explicitly says that he's being into cardiac arrest. Thus, no generator = bye bye Tony.
    • Why does he need a pacemaker? Why isn't the problem the shrapnel digging into his heart? I've never understood that.
    • The whole bit with the shrapnel always confused me. They make it sound like without the magnet or the reactor, the shrapnel will resume moving inwards and shred his heart. Except a magnet that powerful should have yanked the shrapnel (obviously magnetic if an electromagnet could stop its advance) right out of his chest. So, alternate theory: the reactor just seems to be powering his heart and keeping it working as a pacemaker.
    • I got the impression that the pieces of shrapnel moving toward his heart was more continuity nod than anything else. It seems that the writers of the film treated the reactor in his chest like a pace maker for ease of writing and Robert Downy Jr. acted is as a heart attack for ease of showing the danger of not having the big glowing MacGuffin in his chest. This one can really only be chalked up to Rule of Drama as it really doesn't make a lot of sense in any convention.
    • If I may, my interpretation of it was that they had removed the shrapnel when he got out of the caves and back to civilization, but there were still two big problems. The amount of damage and stress that had already been placed on his heart meant that yes, he's gonna need a pacemaker, and secondly, there's still a big hole in his chest from the reactor. Hence, keeping it in.

    New magnet 

  • Ok, the Mark Zero prototype power source keeping Tony Stark alive was an electromagnet wired up to a car battery... given that they were working with scraps, Tony's plan required a fusion reactor anyway, and they had to save "The good stuff" for other parts of the mark one suit I can easily see wiring up a new electromagnet to the reactor. But when he had his pick of his entire companies equipment and was upgrading the reactor in the scene where he needs Pepper Potts hand, WHY didn't he replace the electromagnet with a Neodymium permanent magnet (which can be found in any modern starter motor on an engine). As a weapons designer he should know that "reliable" trumps "cool" in almost every situation (and yes I know that the guy's ego is more turbo-charged then his car, but this wasn't something anyone was ever going to see).
    • Congratulations, you know more about the subject than the writers. Alternatively, Rule of Cool.
    • The comic version was also a pacemaker, which this one may be too as he did go in to cardiac arrest after the first magnet was removed.
    • Fridge Brilliance time! Yinsen called people with wounds like Tony's 'the walking dead', assume that he meant 'without treatment'. Now assume Yisen was to thoracic surgery what Tony was to Engineering and that he originally assumed Tony's wounds were un-treatable, until the terrorists told him to save Tony's life 'Or Else' and so Yisen comes-up with the idea of grafting a big honkin' Electromagnet to his patient's chest. Tony then designs the Mk.I replacement unit, including a pacemaker since while the electromagnet prevents the shrapnel from digging any deeper it's still done some damage to his heart. Eventually the electromagnet does do what forceps couldn't, which is why he asks Pepper not to put it back in after she accidentally yanks it out. BRILLIANT!
    • Heck, start down this line of reasoning and you'll end up asking why the guy with the vast fortune, sophisticated technical wizardry, and utterly awesome lab, the guy who can build ultra-sophisticated flying combat suits with magic energy sources while at gunpoint in a desert prison, can't devise a method that would allow a decent surgeon to get the shrapnel out of his heart and repair the damage. Surely you don't want to go there.
    • Sorry, I DID think of that even before you mentioned it. The key element missing is the "decent surgeon"... because the surgeon would see the reactor. Stark barely trusts Ms. Potts with all this, getting a surgeon in would have gone very much against the grain for him.
    • Not to mention an electromagnet is adjustable by changing the current. If blood flow was putting a force on the shrapnel, you'd need to change to force keeping it in place.
    • Because the shrapnel was really irrelevant. "You're going to need a pacemaker." The reactor serves to power the pacemaker. Not to mention that someone as relatively paranoid as Tony Stark is probably not going to go under the knife and risk someone absconding with his reactor while he's unconscious.
    • There's a simple solution to that as well: Temporarily replace the reactor with a conventional battery and then go under the knife.
    • Stark wouldn't do that because it would require that the reactor be out of his sight for far too long. He doesn't want anybody getting a hold of his tech. That's the reason he wanted Pepper to destroy the Mk I reactor when he had her take it out.
    • One of the consistent aspects of Tony's character is paranoia. He's unwilling to allow Stane to even examine the device precisely because his company has a massive security leak somewhere and the only people he trusts with his reactor are himself and Pepper, and Pepper can't protect the reactor if someone tries to steal it from her by force. He's sure as hell not going to let himself be knocked out because of the ease by which anyone who wants the reactor can take it while he's out.
    • Designing machines and designing new surgical techniques are two very different skill sets.
    • You were right, he eventually does get the shrapnel removed. It just took him until the end of Iron Man 3 to go through with it.
    • 1. How do you know he DIDN'T replace the electromagnet with a permanent neodymium magnet? Just because he asked Pepper not to remove the electromagnet doesn't mean he wanted to continue using it, perhaps he didn't want to remove the magnetic force and intended to power off the electromagnet after installing the new reactor (which looked quite a bit thicker than the old one, perhaps housing a magnet in the bottom). 2. Isn't the main advantage of an electromagnet in this case that the magnetic flux can be altered by altering the current? You can't do that with a neodymium magnet, using an electromagnet he could adjust the magnetic flux as needed. Perhaps the new reactor houses an electromagnet.
    • A permanent magnet may not be the best thing. A electromagnet can be timed to switch on with the pace maker. The objective was to keep the metal out of the heart. So the electromagnet/pacemaker comes on between beats of the heart.
    • Yet another, simpler explanation: an electromagnet can be much, much more powerful than any permanent magnet. You know that frog they levitated by applying a monstrous magnetic field to it? Try doing that with neodymiums...


  • How did Tony Stark not die at the end? The power generator got destroyed in his chest, and the only other one in existence got destroyed with Stane. How did he suddenly get a new one?
    • It doesn't need an arc reactor, it just needs power. The ambulance probably hooked it up to a battery of some sort, and they most likely simply plugged him in once he got to the hospital. Once the rest of him healed up enough, he made another one while in his hospital bed.
    • And knowing Stark, he probably made it out of pieces of said bed.
    • Don't you mean out of SCRAPS! ...sorry.
    • His reactor wasn't destroyed in the fight. It flickered back to life as he lay collapsed- a sign that he took the reactor to its absolute limit, and had he took any more punishment he would have died.
    • Which I assumed meant that his armor was finally damaged enough that it wasn't drawing power anymore. Let's say there was only 0.01% power remaining for the full Mark Three. Tony collapses after the battle and his armor is so damaged it's become essentially a hollow shell around him. Suddenly the arc reactor only needs to power his heart. For all we know 0.01% power for the armor is 5% power for just keeping him alive. He now has a little time to hook up to a car battery or whatever.
    • Individual jetpacks in real life are made unfeasible solely by the upper limit for portable energy carried by the pack being at most 15 minutes worth of flight. A pacemaker runs on a tiny lithium battery for ages. One could easily assume that 0.01% of power that was able to fling a remarkably heavy suit of armor like a bumblebee all over the sky for hours on end would be enough to power the pacemaker for years.
    • Correct. It's addressed in early on. Yinsen remarks that the arc reactor could 'run your heart for fifty lifetimes'. Stark replies, 'Or something big for fifteen minutes.' Naturally, Powered Armor requires a lot more juice than a pacemaker. The former's 'emergency power' could reasonably translate to 'several years' for the latter.

    Calling Tony 

  • Why, after meeting up with Agent Coulson and momentarily escaping Obadiah, does it take Pepper exactly the same amount of time to call Tony as it takes Obadiah to get across town and break into Stark's house? I can't seriously imagine Coulson physically preventing her from calling Tony the instant they leave the building, which is kind of what it should have taken to stop her warning him.
    • It's possible he just wasn't answering his phone for whatever reason, probably tweaking the Mark III suit. Also, if I remember correctly, Tony is checking his voice mail and hears Pepper's message when Stane shows up. Presumably, she called him much earlier, he ignored it, and only got around to checking it later.
    • It's a well known fact that Stane's "Beard of Eeeevill" allows him to teleport whenever it's convenient to the plot.
    • Pepper was running off with Coulson to have her meeting with him and his S.H.I.E.L.D. buddies. By the time she was done, it was nighttime, which meant Stane would have had all the time he needed to get to Tony's house and off him.


  • When Tony starts feigning cooperation with the Ten Rings to build the Mark I suit, he tells them he needs "a welder; I don't care if it's acetylene or propane." I don't know about the propane one, but an acetylene torch can't weld. It's specifically a cutting torch, and trying to use it to weld would be incredibly dangerous and inaccurate at best. We do, in fact, see Tony using an acetylene torch later to cut metal. Whoever they got it from could've told them the distinction, as could the people who showed Robert Downey Jr. how to use it for that shot.
    • Possibly, Tony was testing the Ten Rings to see how technically knowledgeable they were. When none of them correct him on his deliberate(?) mistake about the acetylene 'welder', he then knows it's safe to really start bullshitting them.
    • Pretty much. Robert Downey Jr. is a gear head in real life (one of the tip-offs is when he wipes off the soldering iron he uses in his lab during the build montage for the Mark 2) and would have noticed the inaccuracy.
    • Perhaps he simply used acetylene as a shortened form of the full name of 'oxy-acetylene'? You really can't do very much without both. If I remember correctly, the oxygen increases the temperature high enough to be useful, while the acetylene keeps the oxygen from burning up too fast to be useful. And judging by the bright blue flame it produces, Stark is using an oxy-acetylene torch to cut the metal.
    • Oxygen doesn't burn, I'm pretty sure an oxy-acetylene torch is just a hotter acetylene torch, since it has its own oxidant built-in. [Instead of relying on lower concentrations of atmospheric oxygen]
    • What chemistry class did you fail? Oxygen is one of the most flammable substances in existence. Fire cannot exist without it. Elemental Oxygen not burning I'll take, since it would be rather hard for it to release the energy of it's bonds when it isn't bonded, but Molecular Oxygen, which is what it almost invariably is (hence why it's nicknamed O2), has bonds, and rather energetic ones at that, to break.
    • Ummm... Energy is released when bonds form not when they are broken. And oxygen can't burn - burning is an exothermic reaction wherein a substance reacts with oxygen.
    • 1) Hi, I'd like you to meet my friend fission. 2) Oxygen will burn by itself, until it is (quickly) consumed. It doesn't need to react with ANY substance, which is a silly thing to say.
    • Ok, to clear up. Oxygen will not burn, the air is about 21% oxygen and has yet to burn up around us. Energy is released with the forming of bonds with oxygen, hence why burning fossil fuels produces CO2, arranged like O-C-O. It is correctly called oxidization. Finally, oxygen is not a fissile material, splitting it takes in energy, and nuclear fission (and fusion) are nothing to do with burning anyway. In conclusion, OXYGEN NEVER BURNS, burning is when a substance reacts with oxygen to produce heat and light. Oxygen does make an acetylene torch hotter because it allows the acetylene to burn faster. OK? Now drop it!
    • The crew of Apollo 1 might take exception to your claim that oxygen will not burn. The reason air doesn't burn up around us is because it's 3/4th nitrogen, which is inert. If you light a match and then put a jar over it the flame will go out because it will have expended all the oxygen. I wouldn't recommend trying to light a match in a room with 100% oxygen, though.
    • Nope. Oxygen isn't, itself, flammable. Concentrated oxygen helps things burn, certainly, but if you light a match in a room that's 100% oxygen, all you're going to get is...a lit match. Oxygen is not fuel.
    • A lit match that burns REALLY QUICKLY because there is more oxygen than usual to take part in the reaction. Hence Apollo I. The oxygen DID NOT BURN. The plastics and textiles involved in the electronics and finishes of the capsule burned. They burned at four times the speed and intensity that anybody was expecting, since the oxygen concentration was four times normal. This is the same effect exploited in an oxy-acetylene torch. Can you open just the acetylene valve and light the torch? Yes, but with only atmospheric oxygen to work with, the flame will be weak. Can you open just the oxygen valve and light the torch? Nope. Put em both together, though, and the pure oxygen reacts quickly with the pure acetylene, resulting in an intense fire.
    • You can easily weld with acetylene. It's not as familiar to the general public as electric arc welding nowadays, but any welder would be at least somewhat proficient at it. When you're using acetylene in a cutting torch all the acetylene is doing is heating up the metal enough that the introduction of oxygen (either from a cylinder or atmospheric air) will form iron oxide which can then melt with the heat of the flame. In any case asking for acetylene to weld with is a perfectly correct request.

    Booster test 

  • Why didn't Tony wear a helmet to protect his head when testing his boosters? And why didn't he test the boosters on a dummy or something so he could find an appropriate power level without sending himself hurtling into a wall?
    • Rule of Funny. Really, the whole point behind that scene was to have Tony smacking his head against walls.
    • I figured that was the point, but the in-universe reason could have been that he was learning how to use the suit while building it.
    • Also, don't forget that this is a character who is self-destructive, depressive, and an adrenaline junkie addict. As shown with the initial test flight scene and his disregard for Jarvis' warnings, Tony probably just didn't care that much.
    • This is big time Rule of Funny. Tony Stark went to MIT, if he ever took a Physics class he should know almost exactly how much power to run through the foot-rockets in order to hover. (Hint: 9.8N/kg of force).
    • While it's more Rule of funny than anything, the problem could have been that this prototype had poor control over the amount of power delivered to the legs. That is, he knew he needed 9.8N/kg of force, but accidentally delivered 50 or whatever.
    • Good point, actually I should retract my last statement. The 9.8N/kg works all well and good on the blackboard at MIT and in the notes in your notebook, but that doesn't mean it works in real life. What we saw with Tony's initial test runs was not unlike a lot of early American/Russian rocket tests. Suppose the rockets ALWAYS deliver the required force to hover, which is 9.8N/kg. Now suppose they are oriented at 89º above the horizontal instead of 90º. The math problem is just to decompose the vector and then you have the vertical force (which is less than what is needed) and the horizontal force (which is what you don't want). I don't feel like doing it right now, but the point is Tony needed something called a control system, it's a computer program that rights rockets and control surfaces so they don't spin out of control.
    • Possibly he was testing the amount of thrust he could output and took into account the weight of the suit BEFORE wearing it, I mean, if you're making a super suit, wouldn't you be too busy making it awesome and maybe let something slip?
    • As well, he would probably be testing the control systems and such when having to compensate for the natural movement of a person so they don't accidentally break his ankles when he twitches his leg while maintaining any given flight speed, attitude or what have you. Since he doesn't really have any point of reference, he has to test it on himself.
    • Yeah, so mechanical power is actually newton-meters per second, not newtons per kilogram. Additionally, newtons per kilogram is not a measurement of force but, as the units suggest, a measurement of force per kilogram.
    • True, but for achieving flight (or hovering) you need 9.8N of thrust per kilogram that you're trying to lift. It's accurate in this context.
    • This actually does a beautiful job of highlighting Tony's biggest flaw: He makes mistakes and will correct them, but doesn't seem to learn the longer lasting implications (namely that he makes mistakes and needs to plan accordingly). "I'll test my boosters". "Ok, I need to fix this. Now it will work". "Ok, now I just fix this and it will work". He's a classic example of high INT low WIS. Most people would have taken precautions, and certainly would have after the first botched test.


  • The miniaturized Arc reactors are capable of providing, approximately, a stupid amount of energy. And yet, they use little wires and plastic connectors, which would undoubtedly melt in a split second if asked to deliver eleventy billion joules or whatever. Why not just remove the silly wires altogether? Having the reactors spring to life as they're rotated in the holes would have also been way cooler.
    • I would like to point out that cables leading out from a power source do NOT have to pull every last erg of power. Just pull whatever energy you need at the moment. Presumably the suit has additional contacts inside its connectors that attach the Reactor to the internals.
    • Maybe the battery was connected to some really powerful capacitor to just keep him alive, and the suit gets power from some other connection? I don't know- how did he hook the reactors up to the suits anyway? If they were just external suits, he'd have no way attach them to his chest.
    • It occurs to me that when Stark puts on the suit to go to Gulmira you see very clearly a big metal ring with copper wire wrapped around it that starts rotating slowly over the reactor unit, which itself also substantially brightens once the suit is put on. The Arc reactor is clearly some type of plasma-based device, which is essentially a type of conductor and would have a magnetic field, so my impression was that the wiring helps control the reactor and the power is drawn off using the reactor as the primary side of a transformer, wirelessly.
    • The wire is clearly simply for the electromagnet keeping him alive: it goes in his body, and Tony has no other technical tidbits in himself. The suit obviously takes its power from some other connector - presumably the reactor's whole casing.

    Flying to Afghanistan 

  • This one just bugged me for a while. How does Tony Stark get to Afghanistan when he busts up the whole Golmiyra Atrocity? Does he fly his suit around the world? Well I just bought the special edition DVD and there is a deleted scene that explains this. After he sees everything on TV about the atrocity he asks Pepper to ready his house in Dubai, UAE. He goes to have a party and leaves from there as Iron Man with a backdrop of fireworks. Thus proving that Tony Stark is REALLY bad at making up alibis "I wasn't in Afghanistan, I was a stone's throw away in Dubai."
    • You're right, Stark's alibis leave a lot to be desired. Remember when he was on his way back from kicking Ten Ring ass in Gulmira, and Rhodes asks him "What's that noise?". The man is a tech genius, but a shit liar.
    • What's the problem with flying the suit around the world? He's got the super advanced reactor that can supposedly power the suit for, oh, approximately a million years, the thrusters let him fly above the speed of sound (much above, probably), and Jarvis can probably fly the suit in a straight line himself while Tony takes a nap. Or, y'know, watches a movie or something.
    • Knowing Tony, he probably has MP3s loaded onto the suit's hard drive. As for your theory, it is approximately 7813.1 miles between Malibu and Afghanistan (using this to calculate it) and if my math is correct, at Mach 1 (he's shown breaking the sound barrier at least once) that's a ten- or eleven-hour flight. Granted, we don't know the top speed of the suit, and if he can push Mach 2 or 3 with it that'll shave a lot of time off the trip.
    • In the third movie it is shown he does indeed have the ability to fly long distances on auto-pilot so it is very probable that he flew the whole way in the suit. And if issues of having to go to the bathroom are an issue, Iron Man 2 solves that problem too.
    • And in The Avengers he does go from NYC to Berlin pretty quickly. Its not stated when he launched, but he did read through the entire SHIELD briefing hard drive, presumably got some sleep, and then went after Loki in Berlin.
    • Also, considering that Tony Stark's immediate reaction when he thinks someone is asking him "Are you Iron Man?" is basically to proudly announce "Yep, I'm totally Iron Man," I'm not sure we should put too much stock in how much of a shit he gives about making sure his secret identity alibi is airtight.

    Fifty lifetimes 

  • Fifty lifetimes? Wouldn't something three times more powerful than a nuclear reactor wired directly to a pacemaker make your heart explode?
    • Just because it can produce that much power doesn't mean its pumping that much power out all the time.

    Short on power 

  • Considering that Iron Monger was reverse-engineered from the Mark-1 suit (which was described in the comics as a "gas-guzzler") and looked incredibly heavy and over-gunned been just as short on power as Iron Man, even with the more advanced reactor powering it? I mean, yeah the old reactor wasn't designed to handle the Mark-3 suit, but the new reactor wasn't exactly designed for a suit like Iron Monger's either (not to mention the fact that Tony must've used up a lot of energy flying to Afghanistan and back). That should've been an equal match.
    • The new reactor was significantly improved over the old one, and could put out a LOT more power.
    • Power is also not an indicator of capabilities. You could use a nuclear reactor to power a ping pong ball shooter and you'd still be shooting ping pong balls.
    • The Mark 1 was built with - as we all know - a box of scraps. If you built a car out of odds and ends in your garage, you're not going to be getting the same performance as a car that came off an assembly line using premium parts, no matter how good you are or how big an engine you stick in there.

    Removing reactor 

  • A tiny peeve of mine (you guys have pretty much covered everything): In the scene where Potts helps Stark swap out his reactor, it's made pretty clear that they're safe, sealed, hotswappable units that can be plugged in and out, as long as you know what you're doing. Yet the weird device Stane uses to steal it from the paralyzed Stark seems to drill in and burn out the reactor. Couldn't he just unclick it and yank it out? Potts never saw the thing before her scene and she seemed to click it in herself.
    • Potts hooked up the reactor and slid it into place. Stane had to remove it. We don't see how the removal process works, as Tony had already detached his original reactor when Potts came in to help him. Removal appears to be different from insertion.
    • What he said. Plus, it seemed to me that Stane's patented Tony Stark Reactor Removal Tool (tm) had to burn through his shirt.
    • You ever change an automotive fuse? My car has a special little plastic tool (it's kind of like a staple remover crossed with a pair of pliers) for taking them out. It makes life so much easier, but you can slip fuses IN with your bare hands. Same basic concept. Just like an automotive fuse, there's a good reason to make it hard to remove, but no good reason to make it hard to insert.
    • Plus, Stane hates Tony. Why not make the device's removal painful and terrifying for him? He doesn't care what damage he does to the socket.

    Terrorist thefts 

  • Okay, so Tony found out that his weapons are being stolen by terrorists, and the first conclusion he comes to to combat this problem is to dress up in a suit and hunt down rather than...I dunno, tighten up security? Stane is selling weapons to the terrorists, but Tony doesn't know that, so why is his first idea to become a superhero?
    • Because Stane locked Tony out of the company, which is said very explicitly just one scene earlier. Tony can't "tighten security" because he has no control over Stark Industries, and no amount of tightening security is going to take the weapons out of the hands of men who already have them.
    • Also, Tony is that kind of guy. A more normal person would have called the FBI or something, but Tony is naturally secretive, addicted to thrills, and supremely arrogant about his own abilities. Give someone like that the means, motive, and opportunity to become a superhero rather than go to the government for help, and they will.
    • And if Tony goes to the cops, he has no real proof, and Stane sues him for defamation. Noice.
    • Same reason Bruce Wayne dresses up as a bat to fight criminals instead of just running a charity organisation; it's a superhero action film, not a corporate drama. A superhero action film which doesn't involve its protagonist becoming a superhero or using action to solve his or her problems is doing something wrong.

    Yisen's tactics 

  • This is one that's been annoying me. Early in the movie, after they blow up the door to take out the guards, Yisen grabs a gun and runs into the hallway to buy some time while the MK1 finishes booting up. He does this by blowing half his clip into the ceiling and running screaming towards a dozen or more heavily armed (and now well alerted) men. One would imagine he could have bought much more time by securing some cover and shooting anyone who came to investigate the explosion, as well as maybe not dying on the way out of the cave. Maybe the guys not a tactical genius, but it doesn't seem like he would need to be to realize this.
    • He's a fucking doctor, for God's sake. A doctor who wanted to die.
    • If he wanted to die that badly, I'm sure he could have worked out some way to do it with the mass of equipment he and Tony had been given to build a missile. All I'm saying is that he could have sold his life much more dearly then he did, buying more time for the suit to finish booting up, as well as forcing the Ten Rings Mooks into the cave (away from the heavy weapons outside) where the MK1's flame throwers would have had a much greater advantage.
    • Repeat: Fucking. Doctor. One with no combat experience, no time to come up with a real plan, and holding a weapon he really doesn't have any idea how to manage. All he has time to think at that point is to come up with some way to delay the bad guys for a few minutes.
    • Also, he wants to die, but that doesn't mean he doesn't want his death to have some meaning.
    • Maybe he just couldn't bring himself to shoot someone.
    • Being a doctor and all.
    • On a side note, the whole "doctor" thing isn't a very good argument when others can provide easy alternatives...I mean, being a doctor prevents him from staging a siege, not from common sense.
    • ...But each of these alternatives each end with the same thing; Kill the terrorists. He is a doctor. Presumably, he has sworn the Hippocratic Oath. Presumably, he doesn't want to kill the terrorists; Else he'd have at least short FORWARDS, AT THEM, which is indeed well within his capabilities.
    • Others can provide easy alternatives ... while sitting in front of their computers in their homes in complete safety. Yisen had been through complete hell for god knows how long, and then thrust into really deep shit. I'd say we can cut him a break.
    • Also to consider that he needed to buy time. Confusing the hell out of the bad guys by acting like a suicidal manic, by creating enough noise and confusing that they couldn't tell how many guns the guy had (remember, they all knew Tony was building a weapon in the cave - it wouldn't be unreasonable of them to think that, if they were trying to escape, they'd be packing something good) would buy more time than getting to a choke point and letting the terrorists see that it's just one guy with an empty magazine ie something they can easily handle with a good shot, a grenade, or what have you. As well, Tony and Yisen had no idea if the suit would protect Tony or how long it would last as well as how much fighting he had to do. Presumably too, Yisen wanted to drive back the bad guys so that Tony could advance as far as he could without having use use to ammo or power as well as avoid the bad guys bringing out big guns and be prepared.
    • Not to mention, it's harder to aim than fire wildly. If he had tried to aim at soldiers who are TRAINED to kill him, he'd have lost, especially since the odds were stacked, by firing wildly he scared them off without a confrontation.
    • If Dr Yinsen had anything to do with the bomb at the door, that blew away those two mooks, then he probably wasn't thinking too much about the sanctity of life.
    • There's a difference between setting a trap and actively gunning someone down. In one case, the death happens out of view, and you don't have anything to do with pulling the trigger, so there's distance and a "buffer" between yourself and the act—if nothing else, you can tell yourself "I didn't pull the trigger. They were dumb enough to set it off, so it's their fault." Shooting someone, there's no such buffer—you pull the trigger, you make the decision to end someone's life. This latter thing is something that the military spends a lot of time on because your average human really does not want to kill another human being; someone like Yinsen has no such training, so it would be very difficult for him to actually try and kill someone, even if it is in defense of his own life.
    • Indeed, after the mine goes off, Yinsen emerges from cover to regard the bodies and says "oh my goodness", sounding a bit sick to his stomach. It's possible he was repressing his trained urge to run over and check them for vital signs. He shakes it off quickly enough, but asking him to then start shooting people is a bit much.
    • Dammit, he's a doctor, not a commando.

    Weak spot 

  • I know having a large glowing light in your chest looks very cool, but surely both Stane and Stark would think not to expose their one and sole source of energy out in the open like that? One would think that if a single stray shot that hit the arc-generator would destroy it and render the suit useless, they would put some double armor on that spot rather than putting a weak lightbulb in there instead. It's especially annoying with Stane who seems to literally shove the reactor into the very front chest plate of his armor.
    • Stane's suit was a prototype designed to prove the concept, not a battle-ready model. Full tactical readiness wouldn't necessarily be paramount. As for Stark's suit, if the game of the film is cannon, the arc reactor needs to be exposed so Stark can use the Uni-beam. But just in case it isn't, some alternate theories: 1) To make removal, repair, and replacement easier. Stark's arc reactor is literally keeping him alive. If it starts having problems he doesn't want to be fumbling around with twelve layers of armor, he'll want to be able to pop it out quickly, fix it if he can, and plug in a spare if he can't (and I would definitely trust Tony Stark to have at least one spare arc reactor on hand somewhere). Also, the arc reactor puts out a huge amount of energy. What if it malfunctions and seems likely to explode? If you were Stark, wouldn't you want to be able to get that thing out of your chest as soon as possible? 2) There's no reason to believe a single stray shot would destroy the thing. The film doesn't say how much punishment the arc reactor itself can take, and even if it is fairly fragile there's no reason to assume that Stark hadn't installed some sort of protective force field somethingorother (or just a thick screen of bullet-proof glass) to protect it from stray shots.
    • Yes it can be used as a uni-beam, he even uses it on Obadiah in the film. Pay attention.
    • Uh. Stark didn't make backups. There was that one scene in the film, you know. The one where he was having cardiac arrest!? (Apart from that I agree)
    • True, but that doesn't mean he couldn't plan ahead for when he would have backups ready.
    • For the mark one he had limited time and resources, for the mark two and three you do see some thing lowering over the reactor to cover it, for Stane his suit was based on the mark one and not designed for proper combat.
    • When he came out of the cave, the terrorist soldiers literally showered him in bullets. Despite being apparently exposed, the arc reactor didn't take much damage, even when it presumably received as much gunfire as the rest of his chest. Tony evidently reinforced its defenses.


  • What kind of a name is "Obadiah" anyway? I know it's from the Bible, but it seems like a rather unconventional choice when perfectly common Biblical names like "John" and "Peter" are available. Is there some sort of symbolism in the name Obadiah that I'm not aware of or was "Obadiah" a much more popular name when Stan Lee was growing up?
    • Sounds cool. Comic books are like that.
    • The Other Wiki says his dad's name was Zebediah. Bad names run in his family.
    • Yes, this is overthinking it, but it could be easily explained by him coming from a family of very conservative religious folk. Some American religious subgroups are more likely to use Old Testament Biblical names based on Hebrew rather than NT names based on Greek or Aramaic (which is what John and Peter are). I went to a conservative Christian college and knew two different girls named Tamar.
    • Also, it'd be "when Denny O'Neil was growing up", not Stan Lee.
    • No, Stan Lee definitely created Iron Man. Denny O'Neil just worked on Iron Man's book during the 80s.
    • No offense, but that's a moot point. The subject's about Obadiah's name and Stan Lee didn't create Obadiah Stane, Denny O'Neil did.
    • Do you not know people with weird names, of the kind that make you think "what sort of twisted, evil mind would name their child like that" and cringe when you think of the abuse they've had to suffer in high school? In fact, new theory - Obadiah is evil because he was bullied in school!


  • Although Stane boasts his suit is "more advanced in every way" it looks far cruder than Tony's: it uses conventional weapons and rockets (albeit very small ones) instead of repulsors, and is so huge and bulky it blurs the line between power armor and a mecha, while the MkIII is small enough to fit around Tony's body, and accurate enough to not, y'know snap any of his bones.
    • It also caught up with Tony's suit while it had a head start, it was winning for the vast majority of the fight against Tony's suit, and it was more heavily armed. And being larger and "cruder" does not preclude the technology from being superior. Saying something being bigger means that it is less advanced is like saying an M1 Abrams is less advanced than a moped simply because it is larger. Quite simply, it is stronger, faster, tougher, more heavily armed, and in general, is superior in every way as a weapon to Stark's suit.
    • At the time, Tony's suit was being powered by the MkI reactor, which can barely keep the suit running. It was unlikely that he was able to move at full speed without burning the thing out.
    • I think this is underemphasized. Note how when Obadiah wants to crush Tony with the SUV, and Tony wants to hit him with the chest repulsor, he has to divert all his energy just to fire it. Tony's suit is essentially running on fumes, and he can't do any of his fancy tricks or he'll, you know, die. If it had been powered by the advanced reactor, with full power to the repulsors, one can easily assume that Tony would have mopped the floor with Iron Monger.
    • Stane's not really the type to bluff. He's a ruthless businessman on the surface and much worse than that below it, you don't get to where he's gotten in life without being damned confident that whatever you've got will trump your rivals.
    • He's also angry, with a longstanding grudge against Stark, and all his Evil Plans have been foiled to the point where his only remaining option is to go on a berserk power-armored rampage and kill everyone who had any idea what he was doing. He's probably in the right mood to do some boasting about how much better his suit is.
    • Also, what with the reasons in the OP and the "icing problem", the film emphasizes that Stane is wrong. We actually have no reason to take him at face value; it's a classic villain boast, and everyone who posts here is Genre Savvy enough to know what happens when you say things like, "muahaha! There's no way you can stop me now!" etc.
    • It's also a demonstration of the differences in their personalities and styles: starting from the same point (the Mk1 armor), they both improved it; Tony's answer was to make it slimmer and more maneuverable, Obadiah's answer was to make it thicker and more heavily armed. Each man thought their way was the "right" way, so Stane looks at Stark's little red Corvette suit and sees only that Tony hasn't kept up with his advancements.
    • Exactly. Stane built a tank, Tony built a humvee. The humvee can drive circles around the tank, but in a head-on collision, the tank will crush the humvee.
    • It also speaks to the characterization of the relationship between Stane and Tony. Stane's suit is essentially a souped up version of the MkI armor that was reverse engineered by his technicians. On the other hand, as we can see when he starts designing it, Tony basically took the design for the MkI and stripped it down to its bare essentials and then apparently redesigning it from the ground up to build the MkII and III. During this time, Stane has no inkling of what Tony is building in his basement/garage. At this point, Stane only assumes that Tony is fooling around. Furthermore, prior to their battle Stane had never seen the MkIII, much less seen it in action. Here's where characterization starts in. Consider when Tony announced his decision that Stark Industries would abandon weapons manufacturing, Stane doesn't really think that Tony's serious, because he's rarely (if ever) seen Tony actually serious or passionate about something. As long as he's known Tony, Tony has been a spoiled playboy who just happens to be a mechanical genius. From this previous experience, Stane, upon seeing the MkIII for the first time, Stane (probably thinking the same snide remarks that Jarvis made about Tony's choice of colors), assumes that what Tony essentially built is nothing more than a fancy toy. As far as he's concerned, it's a little man-sized hotrod. Naturally, he's going to think that the massive, much more powerful-looking (although it probably can assert more mechanical force than Tony's suit), armed with countless big guns is going to waste Stark's puny suit like its made of paper. In a sense, when it comes to comparisons, Stane is comparing them in the same way he's always compared Tony to himself. The master businessman/pragmatist vs a brilliant but eccentric tinkerer, whose suit he assumes is just full of gimmicks.
    • Point of real world reference. During World War II the basic cruiser wasn't much different in basic design concept from country to country. As the Cold War developed both the USA and USSR decided to design new, advanced classes of cruisers. USSR built a series of several huge (almost as long as a WWII era aircraft carrier), massive nuclear powered heavy cruisers bristling from bow to stern with all manner of heavy, brute force topside weaponry called the Kirov Class. The United States built smaller, sleeker, faster diesel turbine powered Cruisers with a load of internally carried precision guided munitions, seen from outside the ships look practically unarmed, and one of the most powerful and advanced Phased Array Radars ever designed as well as numerous electronic warfare systems called the Ticonderoga Class. When looking at early spy photos and intelligence reports the Americans considered the Soviet ships crude, the Soviets considered the American ships weak. So even given the exact same problem and starting from the same or similar points two people (or countries in this case) can come to radically different solutions that can be valid. And turns out the Kirov was a lot more advanced and the Ticonderoga a lot more powerful then they each looked and in response the two countries actually responded to the mindsets the other country was using with the same mentality, with the United States recommissioning the older, more powerful but less sophisticated Iowa Class Battleships in response to the Kirov and the USSR designed the more technologically advanced but more conventional in design Slava and Kara class cruisers.
    • Stane didn't even know how the Iron Man suit works, for the most part. He had the Mk.I design blueprints and an abandoned Arc Reactor, and he improved upon them. Details like repulsor technology are as alien to him as the icing problem was, and have no place in his boasts. He just built a more bulky, physically stronger and more resistant suit, put bigger guns on it, and called it better because of all that.

    Crushing helmet 

  • Here's a real head-scratcher- In the final portion of the fight between Tony and Obadiah, Obadiah crushes the face-plate to Tony's armor with just one hand. This begs the question, WHY didn't he crush Tony's head when he had the chance multiple times?
    • For the first portion of the fight, its pretty clear he was toying with Tony. He thought he had the upper hand ("My suit is superior to yours in every way!") It isn't until the end that Tony even begins to hold his own. Since Stane felt he had the upper hand for just about the whole fight, he's got no real reason to hurry things up and just crush Tony's head.
    • It is implied that Tony's suit loses much of its protective powers when it's unpowered (see for instance how he can survive a tank shell to the face without a scratch when the suit's running, but suffers obvious blunt trauma from a simple three-story fall after he kills its power). When Obadiah takes the helmet, it's obviously unpowered because it's removed from the suit, and thus much more vulnerable to damage.
    • I wouldn't say that Stane was "toying" with Stark. Stane spends the bulk of the fight trying to crush Tony in a variety of different ways, from smashing him into a bus to hitting him with a car, to wrapping his arms around him and trying to break him with sheer force. He doesn't crush Tony's head because Tony is a slippery bugger that Stane has a lot of trouble keeping his hands on for more than a couple seconds. Trying to use one of his arms to grip Tony's head would leave Tony's arms and legs free to prevent him from doing exactly this, and the other arm can only hold back so many limbs. It's actually REALLY HARD to successfully grip someone's face or throat without them being able to break free from your grapple.
    • He actually does partially crush Tony's breastplate right before Tony brings out the flares.


    Stane's reasoning 

  • The U.S. military's research budget is something over 200 billion a year, which tops the rest of the world combined. Stark Industries appears to have a large chunk of that, building missiles, small arms and what looks like the movies version of the Abrams tank and humvees. Stane is probably making a few tens of million tops selling weapons to terrorist groups (probably less, as it seems he just gave the 10 rings weapons). If it ever comes out that he's giving/selling these weapons to terrorists, Stark Industries is going to get shut down by the feds and Stane is going to Federal 'Pound me in the ass' Prison for Treason. Why the hell is someone depicted as a savvy businessman risking so much legitimate business for a few million?
    • Most of the money made is probably going either right back into Stark Industries or to Tony Stark, being the owner of the company. Stane might be a high-rolling CEO, but even he would likely have a limit on his salary. Making tens of millions selling weapons probably rolls back into his own personal pockets.
    • I think you underestimate just how much the CEOs of major corporations get paid. Michael Eisner, the ex-CEO of Disney famously made over half a billion dollars in two years through exercising stock options he was given as part of his incentive package. Stark Industries is a major defense contractor, and Stane has played a significant role in it for a very long time. Possibly since the beginning, if the way he talks about him and Howard Stark is in any way accurate. I'd expect him to be worth at least a billion in his own right. And terrorist groups are rarely blessed with unlimited funding. The risk/benefit calculation really doesn't stack up if profit was Stane's only motive.
    • Also, by selling weapons to the other side, Stane can prolong the conflict AND escalate the grade of weapons that the US Military would want to bring to the field. It's win-win, so long as no-one ever finds out.
    • Unless... Stane was after an even bigger prize... Perhaps a ring?
    • Stane would be able to cover his tracks on the sales enough, claiming the weapons to be stolen. There would likely be little documentation to prove he was actually selling the weapons to them.
    • In fact, isn't treason a capital offense?

    Surviving first crash 

  • When Tony blasts off in his first suit, and crashes into a sand dune, how is he not turned into paste inside the suit? Padding and such only gets you so far; your internal structures are still subject to momentum. And he crashed hard. A few cuts and a bum arm is incredibly mild.
    • Because Tony is Made of Iron.
    • Soft Sand?
    • In the novelization, when the US military find him, Tony has a hard time explaining how me managed to suffer "blunt trauma injuries to 90% of his body."

    Building armor (after cave) 

  • Phew! I had to read through this whole section just to make sure that this one question wasn't asked. Now ignoring Rule of Cool, the fact that it is based off a comic book or any other meta answers, looking at it from a purely in story perspective; Why exactly did Tony build the Iron Man armor in the first place? Why did the man who swore he would never create another weapon, in the word of the villain of the story give the world its greatest weapon? What was going on in his head? If he had just focused on the Arc Reactor technology, he could have already taken a huge step towards redeeming himself for what he had done before? And while the Gulmira incident was tragic, and I won't deny that his actions probably saved many lives, it still seems like he went against his own edict of not building any more weapons.
    • He didn't want to build any weapons that could be used for the wrong purpose, hence why he wanted to shut down the company's weapon production. It's also why Tony is so protective of his technology; as far as he's concerned, the only one level-headed enough o use the tech for 'good' is himself.
    • "That's the way Dad did it, it's the way America does it, and it's worked out pretty well so far..."
    • A) The iron Man suit wasn't originally intended as a weapon; from the impression I got, he was just designing a new sort of flight/propulsion system that would work on a one-man level. Note that Stark is more interested in making the thing fly over making it fight. It isn't until the smashes the presumably bullet-proof windows to his lab that Tony even realizes how powerful a weapon he's just created. B) Stark is an engineer. He's going to design stuff, he's going to tinker with stuff, and he's going to go back over old designs he's built and improve upon them. Even if its just for personal use. And the Iron Man suit was built specifically for personal use; note how in the sequel, he's refusing to give out Iron Man technology to anyone - even his own government.
    • I'm pretty sure he intended the Iron Man to take out his own weapons in the hands of terrorists, so it's a case of Peace Through Superior Firepower
    • If he'd intended the suit for taking those weapons out of enemy hands, he would have done so right off the bat.
    • He did, as soon as he was finished testing and perfecting it. While the repulsors-as-beam-weapons were an unexpected development, he also loaded the suit up with mini-missiles and shoulder-bullets. The Golmira incident likely sped up his timeline; he was probably planning on adding heavier weaponry, then realized he didn't need to. At the same time, he had the Golmira broadcast on, and decided he was ready.
    • He never actually swore to no longer create weapons, he merely shut down the production of weapons by his company. Though drowned out by the reporters' questions, he completed his statement, saying that he planned to evaluate the company's direction to be consistent with "the highest good". He went on to find the leak (Stane) and plug it. Whether he resumed selling weapons or started the company on a new direction after that point is unclear, but it did give the opportunity for Justin Hammer to step in and replace him as the military's main supplier.

    Mini arc reactor 

  • I am bugged by Tony's treatment of the miniature arc reactor. After he's done with the first one he just tells Pepper to throw it away? That technology could revolutionize the world and save millions of lives just running water purification devices alone.
    • Or it could be harnessed to power weapons systems. Tony's made it expressly clear, over and over and over and over and over again, across both movies, that Arc Reactor tech stays under his control because once it gets out, it is the catalyst for the next generation of weapons. If he starts using it for widespread civilian applications, its only going to be a matter of time (probably a matter of minutes) before it ends up in military hands, and then the cat's out of the bag. As Tony himself says to Rhodes, "this one stays with me."
    • The movie lays it out very clearly that Tony Stark does not want his tech falling into the wrong hands. That was the whole point behind the press conference where he shut down the weapons manufacturing, that was the whole point behind why he refused to give out the Arc Reactor to even his own in-house engineering teams, and that was why he went back to Golmira. Releasing Arc Reactor tech on the civilian market will result in that tech ending up in the hands of terrorists. Hell, for Tony, releasing that technology to the world when he's already seen what his less-advanced weapons designs can do in the wrong hands would be almost criminally negligent.
    • This still falls under the same problem as most tinker superheroes. The root problem of most problems in the world is lack of energy. This arc reactor would solve water problems, manufacturing problems and several food problems. Transports designed around them would solve personal vehicle issues and logistical issues in food deliveries around the world. This would also give you completely cheap space travel, opening a massive number of new fields of business. Terrorists fail in a world where they can't recruit, and its a lot harder to recruit where people are happy, well fed, well entertained, and have new frontiers to explore. Issues and terrorists would still exist, as there will always be unhappy people. But keeping this tech under wraps because "it can make weapons" is still the most ridiculous and contrived reason I've seen in cinema.
    • Not at all. Stark is holding onto his tech and keeping it to himself because that is entirely in-character for him. Stark has A) an egomanic complex and B) has been personally shown that his tech has been perverted by the enemies of his country to be turned against the very people he wants to protect, in a brutal display of force that mentally damaged him at a very fundamental level. He knows that this is due to a lack of security surrounding his tech. Ergo, he wants to keep his tech from being used for the wrong ends, but he knows that if his tech gets out, it will be used for ends he does not want. The only way to protect his technology, in his eyes, is to keep it to himself and refuse to let anyone else have it. Its not the most completely rational choice, but Tony Stark isn't a rational person. If you think this is contrived, then you're not understanding the character of Tony Stark and how his own ego and mental complexes effect his approach to his technology. Its his tech, and Tony believes he is the only person who can correctly use his technology. There's a reason why Rhodes has to beat some sense into Tony in the sequel and demonstrate to him that he is misusing his technology - and therefore proving to Tony that he is not the proper arbitrator of who can and cannot use that technology - before Tony will let him take the War Machine suit.
    • If you're treating Tony like he's some kind of enlightened techno-saint, you're pretty much missing the point behind the entire movie. Stark isn't a saint, he's a selfish, somewhat megalomaniacal, egocentric, and arrogant playboy who is convinced he's the only one who can correctly choose how to implement his technology and screw everyone else. This arrogant, self-absorbed approach to his tech is a major part of the Iron Man/Tony Stark character.
    • After Tony makes his "no more weapons" announcement, he tells Stane they should get back into the Arc Reactor business. It seems to me that his plan is to destroy his wayward weapons, plug his company's leaks, and gain a firm handle on how Stark Industries does business. After that is when he'll start wowing the world with his new technological breakthroughs, once he can control how and by whom they're used. He got a bit sidetracked with the whole Iron Man thing, but by the sequel he's done something that justifies spending money on a year-long expo. The movies are "Iron Man", not "Tony Stark Runs a Company", so that's not focused on.
    • The Avengers showed that Tony is working to make the Arc technology widespread, and in fact he's first seen unplugging the Stark Tower from the public electricity network to prove it could run on the energy provided by an Arc reactor. Just give him time to perfect the technology.
    • I figured it was due to the fact that Tony is so egocentric that he didn't even consider the possibility that the old one was worth anything. He refers to it as "am antique" after all. Now that he had the new and improved version, the old one was just obsolete junk that needed to go out with the trash like a used battery. I doubt he even considered the possibility of the old one being used for weapons research because he didn't think it was worth anything.

    Iron Monger flight 

  • How can the Iron Monger fly? When we see its feet from the bottom it's clear they are flat plates on the bottom so where does the rocket exhaust come from? Also, how did Obadiah break the ice? Tony only did it by opening the flaps but I doubt that there is a big "deploy flaps" lever on the inside of the Iron Monger.
    • Rocket boots: Plates covering the thrusters when not in flight so thy aren't damaged and weight is properly distributed. Ice: Why wouldn't it have a "deploy flaps" lever? Why are you assuming that Stane's engineers aren't very intelligent when it comes to basic safety features?
    • Tony's suit, which was much lighter and more maneuverable , barely got back to normal in time (literally; he missed the road by centimeters!). Even if he could break the ice like Tony did, there is no way the Iron Monger could get back into flying mode like Iron Man did. Look at the take-off speed of Iron Monger and tell me it could do anything in free-fall.
    • Was just about to write a new post about this! This scene bugs me a bit, since it seems completely pointless. Tony flies as high as he can to make use of the fact that Stane's suit will ice up, which it does. Yet somehow Stane is able to get his 50 ton suit restarted and prevents it from crashing into the floor, when earlier Tony Stark in a much lighter suit had barely been able to do so. Stane's suit apparently suffered no damage whatsoever, and the fight continued as before. All Tony succeeded in doing was wasting some of his suit's power.
    • Alternative interpretations: a) Stane doesn't have flaps and indeed drops like a stone, but Iron Monger is tough enough that it sustains no damage from the impact. b) He gets his power back before he hits the ground, points Iron Monger's feet down and just fires those humongous thrusters for all they're worth, which stops the fall.
    • From a filmmaking perspective, it's a Hope Spot. Tony pulls out the Chekhov's Gun, seemingly defeats Stane, and triumphantly floats in the air before running out of power and wobbling to earth. He starts to ditch the suit, then *gasp* Stane reappears good as new! It serves to up the tension by weakening Iron Man while also making him appear momentarily victorious.
    • Isn't that how Stane loses his targeting systems, or was that something else?
    • Stane loses his targeting systems when Tony rips out some wires from his suit.
    • To be fair, there's also a hell of a lot more space to stuff tech into with the Iron Monger. It is entirely possible that without needing to allocate room for the operator's legs, they could just put in some giant jet engines instead, cover it with armor plating and a bit of hydraulics for the pseudo-foot landing gear, and call it a day.

    Progress bar 

  • What was the progress bar signifying for the MK1 anyway? Tony said something about a power-up sequence, so was the MK1 charging up or something? Why would that need a computer and what about the Arc Reactor?
    • The MK1 was charging up. It had never had a power source beforehand, so they had to both hook up the Arc Reactor to it and initialize it; it probably does have an internal CPU, if only to handle power distribution.
    • Firmware upload. The suit must be controlled by at least one computer, which needs its operating system and software.
    • ^ This. For the uninitiated, think of a firmware as the "program" half of a hardware based control systems (think "one-program-only one-purpose-only mini-computers"). And as with all software those things need to be copied into memory and installed.

    Taking apart palladium 

  • Why did Stark and Yinsen need to take apart those missiles to get palladium? Sure, palladium is expensive, but he only needed 1.5 grams of it, which costs around $25. Couldn't he have just told the 10 Rings people that he needed some palladium?
    • And is it readily available in Middle Of Nowhere, Afghanistan?
    • Also, keep in mind Stark would want the Ten Rings knowing as little as possible about what he's doing. Asking them to acquire palladium would be giving them an additional detail as to what he's doing, as opposed to them seeing him taking one small component out of a missile to make something.
      • Not necessarily. They didn't really know what the palladium was used for - who's to say it isn't part of a guidance chip for the Jericho? That said, I doubt Amazon delivers to mountain caves. Getting the palladium out of the missile was probably the best way, especially considering he's got less than a week to assemble the reactor.
      • It's still giving them more information about what he's doing than Tony likely feels comfortable giving out to people who are holding him hostage and are not-so-subtly planning on killing him once he's outlived his usefulness. He doesn't want them knowing anything about what he's really doing, down to the seemingly minutest detail. If he tells them he needs something, they're going to wonder why he wants it, which means he either has to give them more information (which could risk giving the game away) or he has to come up with a lie and hope they believe it (which could risk them getting suspicious and doing something to intervene before he's ready). Why risk either possibility when you can take what you need from material that's already at hand and not have to worry about it either way?


  • Here's one: I liked the movie but had two serious issues w/ it: 1) How did Stark survive crashing into the sand dune even w/ the armor on? It looks as if he landed about 5+ miles from he started and he hit very hard. 2) When he returns to Afghanistan and engages the tank. The tank shoots first and hits him (which brings up the problem of hitting a man-sized target w/ a field artillery shell..but anyway) at a range of maybe 100 yards. Stark is neither killed nor even seriously injured by the shell's impact. Even if they fired an HE (high explosive round) rather than sabot round, wouldn't the small explosive charge and the kinetic impact of the shell have at least rendered him unconscious?
    • As for the first one...yeah, that's just comic book physics for you. As to the second one, he is wearing state of the art armor far better than anything else developed. Presumably it's got some killer shock absorbers.
    • There's a reason why we have Made of Iron as a trope. We can probably pass off Tony surviving such abuse while wearing his suits as a combination of this and Stark's ridiculous engineering capability. Any man-sized suit like the one Tony has must have good tech to compensate for sudden accelerations and decelerations, and those can translate into shock absorbers.
    • Confirmed by the Hall of Armor feature on the Iron Man Blu-ray. It states that the Mark III has shock absorbers to protect him from sudden braking. Apparently, the Mark III can decelerate from Mach 2 to 0 in about four seconds. It's possible that the Mark I had some rudimentary shock absorbers as well.
    • (which brings up the problem of hitting a man-sized target w/ a field artillery shell..but anyway) Yes, you can hit a man-sized target at that range with any modern tank's main gun, including potentially helicopters if they're not moving that fast. Most tanks can engage targets at 5,000+ meters. Stark was inside of five hundred when the tank shot him. Not to mention the Ten Rings were armed with Stark Industries weapons technology, which is a step above modern weaponry.
    • I simply got the feeling that the tank had Tony flying straight at it, so didn't have to compensate. They just put the suit at the centre of the reticle and let the shell go.
    • The tank didn't shoot him... at least not with the main gun. If you look closely, there's an anti-aircraft gun on top of the tank. That's what shot Tony, not the main gun, which should be obvious by the fact that Tony isn't jelly due to basic physics. This coincidentally makes the scene consistent with other showings of the suit.

    Falling through roof 

  • At the end of Stark's first flight, he hovers less than a meter above the roof of his home and kills the power. His suit falls through the roof, the floor below with the piano, and then smashes the car below that to actually stop. Because he was hovering, he had next to no momentum, so the force that made his suit fall through came almost entirely from the weight of his suit. I don't know the maths or physics (not that they apply, but even so), but wouldn't the suit have to be many, many tonnes to do that? and if so, how can he walk around in it without at least causing serious cracks in whatever he's walking over?
    • The Mark II was very heavy, compared with the later-model armor, probably due to being a prototype. We can readily assume that he lightened the later models so they can walk around without cracking weaker surfaces.
    • Even then, given the weaponry, these suits are all probably very very heavy. Even when the suit is just "walking around", there's probably still hidden thrusters somewhere running on "low" to stop the machine from wrecking floors.

    Piano piece 

  • What is that piano piece Stane plays when he brings Tony pizza from New York? I've heard it somewhere, but for the life of me I can't remember where.
    • I don't know the piece itself, but I've heard it's something by Salieri, to symbolize how Stane is the Salieri to Stark's Mozart.
    • A bit of research seems to indicate that the piece is the second movement (Larghetto) from Salieri's Concerto for piano and orchestra in C major.
  • Why did Tony tell Rhodes to keep the skies clear when going after Stane? He could have just said, "Just make sure they don't shoot me."
    • Two flying suits, with unknown and infinite possible trajectories, very hard to track via radar, and lots and LOTS of commercial flights in the area? Sounds like Tony was trying to avoid civilian casualties.
    • How are they going to differentiate the two? The Air Force is more likely to shoot down both of them.
    • Uh... maybe they can target the one that is three times the size of the other?
    • When you're dealing with aircraft, that's not very helpful. The fighters are just going to see two radar signatures. One might be smaller than the other, but they're not going to care.
    • Keep in mind that neither Tony nor Rhodes knows about Iron Monger or how big it is by that point. Tony can't say "Don't shoot at me" because as far as he knows by that point, he's going to the only thing flying. Tony telling them to keep the skies clear is basically him just telling Rhodes to keep the Air Force from shooting him down, no matter what happens.
    • Also, did anyone consider that telling Rhodey to keep skies clear may be because Tony wants to protect the Air Force? Look at what happened when the Iron Man suit went up against to F22 fighters: it outperformed them in every way possible, and Tony was simply trying to escape them without hurting anybody. If he'd wanted to take those F22 jets out, he could have done so easily. If anything Stane is putting together is as capable as the Mark II or III, then any jets the Air Force puts up are going to be a winged Redshirt Army. Tony is just being smart.


  • What does Tony do when he gets an itch while wearing the suit?
    • The same thing deep sea divers, astronauts, and EOD techs do. He deals with it.
    • The Stark Automated Scratch-That-Itch (tm).
    • "Jarvis, scratch that itch." "Yes Sir. Would you also like me to remove your excrement too?"


  • How does Tony breathe in that suit?
    • inhaling? The same way anyone breathes? It's not a completely sealed suit and it likely filters and traps incoming air, the same way your car's air conditioning system does.
    • This piece of concept art detailing the components of Tony's faceplate features an "oxygen mist dispenser," presumable something similar to what actual fighter pilots wear.

    Pointing guns 

  • The soldiers that found Tony after he escape from the terrorists were sent there to rescue him, right? So why were they pointing their guns at him the whole time, even when he was hugging their CO?
    • They were sent to rescue him, but they couldn't be completely sure he was him, or he hadn't been compromised in some fashion. It's standard procedure in situations where a SWAT team is sent into a building to capture and cuff everyone, for example, and sort them out later.
    • If you look closely, they have their weapons shouldered, in move-to-engage position, but for the most part their weapons are not directly pointed at Tony. They're keeping an eye on the surroundings in case someone is pursuing him so they can quickly snap-to-target and open fire. Its a case of Shown Their Work; the director really did his research on military operations.

    Tony fighting Stane 

  • Does anybody else find it a little unsettling that Tony seems rather blasé about the fact that his mentor and father's best friend turned out to be a monster, to the point that he was willing to kill him instead of negotiating with him, and that he shrugged off his death with "so how are we gonna pretend that he died?" He didn't even get a mention in Iron Man 2, which had a whole subplot dealing with the company's legacy. I know Tony isn't exactly an overly sentimental guy, but it came off as downright inhuman.
    • Not really. Tony is not the kind of character who dwells on these kinds of things, or at the very least, tries not to dwell on bad experiences when he can do something about it. Look at how he dealt with months of captivity by terrorists and the death of the doctor who saved him: he didn't dwell on it, he just hurled himself headlong into new work almost immediately after he got back. He didn't talk with anyone about it, even barely saying anything about what happened when he was at the press conference. Similarly, with Stane, he doesn't dwell on the betrayal, and instead hurls himself into another line of important work: enforcing peace around the world and progressing technology with his Expo. He refuses to mention any of it, instead focusing on his work to get past it. That's a consistent aspect of how his character handles things.
    • "I've been called many things; 'nostalgic' is not one of them."
    • The thing I found weird was that I kept expecting Stane to reveal that he'd engineered Tony's parents' death by plane crash. It even would have jibed with Coulson's line about "Those small planes can be so dangerous"... it actually felt like an Ironic Echo orphaned of its source. Maybe they decided it broke up the flow or was too stereotypical for a superhero origin or something.

    Plane chasing Iron Man 

  • When Iron Man saves the falling pilot and flies away, why doesn't the other plane give chase? The plane can be seen in the background while Tony's talking to Rhodey, flying to the side. Did he just assume Iron Man was a good guy for activating the parachute?
    • Well, what do you expect him to do? The unidentified contact just saved your wingman's life, at the risk of its own, and spent the entire engagement trying to avoid combat. Its pretty damned obvious that whatever the contact was, it wasn't hostile, especially after it saved the life of one of the pilots who had been shooting at it. Pursuing the contact even after it has demonstrated obviously friendly intent would be idiotic.
      • Plus, his wingman is down. His mission is no longer engaging a contact that hadn't fired on them and had seriously messed up some enemy troops, it's helping SAR get his wingman out of a hot zone.

    Export Control Laws 

  • Has Stane ever heard of something called Export Control Laws? It is illegal for defense contractors in America to sell weapons to countries outside of the United States or to citizens of foreign countries unless the DoD and Congress have approved the weapon in question for foreign export. Jericho, being a weapon that would have been in production for less than a year, wouldn't have even been considered for foreign trade, much less approved. The moment the US government realized that a brand-new Stark Tech weapon system that isn't export approved was in the hands of a terrorist organization in the Middle East, Homeland Security (And probably SHIELD as well) would have shown up at Stark Technologies' corporate headquarters and factories and started taking the place apart trying to figure out exactly how the missiles got to Ten Rings - especially since a weapon that new would have had so few of them in the hands of the US military that they could easily check to make sure that every single missile that the Army had received and hadn't been provably used was exactly where it was supposed to be. You can cover up the source of old tech being diverted to terrorists (Especially if you can route it through an allegedly legal customer to allow plausible deniability). You can't do that with state of the art stuff that early in the production run. What was Stane thinking?
    • I think Stane stopped giving a shit about export control laws when he sold weapons to terrorists and paid terrorists to kill the owner of the company. The movie more than clearly states that Stane is completely off his rocker already.
    • While I can understand him not caring on moral grounds, he should be caring on pragmatic grounds. Because of the export control laws, Jericho missiles can only be found in two places: US military bases and Stark Technology warehouses. SHIELD would easily be able to prove that the military hadn't lost any simply because they would have received so few of them that physically checking to make sure they're all where they're supposed to be is possible, meaning that Ten Rings had to have gotten their missiles from Stark Technologies. At which point they would go over that company with a fine toothed comb to figure out exactly who provided the Jericho missiles to terrorists and how it was delivered to them. While Stane doesn't care about the people who are going to be blown up with the weapons he's selling illegally, he should care about the fact that selling that particular weapon provides a very high risk of getting caught.
    • The only Jericho missile that the Ten Rings had would have been made by the captive Tony. Stane hired them to kill Tony but instead they kept him alive and ordered him to make the missile. If Tony had caved and made them the missile then Stane's assassination plot would have backfired because the above scenario would likely have taken place and the inspectors would have noticed other holes in the company's manifesto.
    • By the time Tony intervenes as Iron Man in Golmera, the Ten Rings have managed to obtain a Jericho through means other than Stark building one (probably sold to them by Stane). We explicitly see Stark destroy it before flying away at the end of the battle.
    • Whose to say that Stane was sane to begin with?

    Unfortunate Training Exercise 

  • Why did Rhodes refer to the accident with the F-22 as an "unfortunate training exercise?" That seems like a slip-up in the script. How can an exercise be "unfortunate?" It should have been "unfortunate training accident."
    • They threw out the script midway through filming and just stuck to ad-libbing, so it easily could have been a flubbed line.
    • They didn't "throw out the script midway through," they never had a solid, defined script to begin with—they had outlines for where scenes were supposed to go, and the points that had to be hit during the conversations, but for the most part the individual lines were mostly improvised.

      And he said "training exercise" because that's what he said he wouldn't and couldn't say, and it made the Gilligan Cut clearer.


  • So were the Funvee and the Hum-Drumvee part of the same convoy? Rhodey was originally going to ride with Tony, so it's pretty weird that they'd split up like that.
    • No, they split up. They were originally going to be together - deleted scenes even have Rhodey manning a machine gun on one of the vehicles. No doubt Rhodey had some liaison-y work to do at the demonstration that kept him out of Stark's convoy.

    Bulletproof vest 

  • That does not look like a conventional bulletproof vest that Stark is wearing when the convoy is hit - it's quite likely, yet not provable, that Stark designed it. And a fragmenting missile with a Stark Industries logo on it puts shrapnel right through it like it was made of paper. Makes me wonder about his priorities pre-Iron Man if his chosen response to the question of the unpenetrable shield and the all-piercing spear is to make better spears then shields.
    • Well, his father already made an impenetrable shield. Doubtless Tony knew that he wouldn't be able to love up to that if he made armor, so he focused on beating him in weapons instead.
    • Important to remember, anytime someone says that something is "____proof", what they really mean, whether they know it or not, is "____ resistant". This goes for waterproof, idiot proof, fireproof, and especially bulletproof. Just because one piece of shrapnel got through it (when the thing practically exploded in his face) doesn't mean it's ineffective all the time.

    Ghost drive 

  • Does anyone else feel that Pepper accessed Obadiah's ghost drive too easily? I mean, isn't the purpose of the ghost drive to be hidden?
    • If it was a ghost drive, then yeah, but it's not hidden at all.
    • Right before Pepper heads to Stark Industries, she's talking to Tony and he tells her exactly how to find the ghost drive if it exists. He also gives her the flash drive to download the information onto, and it looks a bit big for a typical flash drive. It probably has an add on meant to help search the computer and break the encryption of password protected files.
    • Tony actually outright says that the flash drive he's handing her will do the hacking for her.

    Files on Stark computer 

  • Related to the above, I can accept a lot of things (and even justify them) in a work of fiction I enjoy. But I have trouble justifying why Obadiah kept the secret documents on a computer connected to Stark.Net at all, and even more incredulous that he kept such damning video footage of the Ten Rings abduction blackmail on said hidden drive. Why in all the stupid would he have even kept that video? And why would he have any of that secret bad stuff connected to any network even near stark enterprises? Surely a man so obviously evil would have had a safe house location where at the very least he could keep his secret blackmail video from the terrorists that took Tony. And at most kept the secret suit info there.
    • As said in other places, Stane's a business man, not a traditional super-villain. Also, Stane's constantly underestimating Tony's abilities. He thought Tony would die, not return safe and sound. All he knew about Tony then was that he figured out how build a mini arc reactor. It wasn't until Razza showed him the Mk. 1 and told him that Stark built a better suit, after the Jerichos he sold were FUBAR, that Stane had any idea what Tony was capable of. He probably didn't think that Tony would think to look around.
    • Stane was having his version of the suit built in a company lab, by a company team of scientists, using company resources. They had to have their plans and files somewhere the whole team could access.

    Stark weapons 

  • Ok, this one's REALLY bugging me. So Stark decides to shut down his weapons division because he feels uncomfortable about the whole Merchant of Death thing after his experience. Understandable enough.... but just dropping out of the weapons business isn't going to stop it. The US Army is a consistent customer, and their demand isn't going to go away just because Stark Industries isn't filling it anymore. For all we know, even less trustworthy arms concerns are just taking up the slack. Whereas if Stark had simply stayed in the business but put greater emphasis on making sure the guns stay in the right hands, or maybe using some of that technical genius of his to invent smart guns that can recognize when they are being used for war-crimes/terrorist type actions and automatically prevent use ala Guns of the Patriots, he could actually have made a positive difference in that arena. It seems like the whole vibe is "guns are evil", but here we have a man who has the mental prowess, resources, and position to actually do something about it, and his solution is just to put his hands up and say "I quit" and leave it to god knows who to take over in his stead.
    • Stark's point isn't "guns are evil" or "the US Army shouldn't get any guns," it was "I'm shutting it down until I can plug the leaks." He doesn't want any of his guns getting into the wrong hands, and at the moment, to him, that means not giving out any guns until he figures out how they're getting into the wrong hands. Given that he provides Rhodey with an upgrade by Iron Man 3, he's apparently back to being okay working with the US Military, now that he's removed the bad eggs from his own organization.
    • His entire speech when he announces that he's shutting down the weapons development program has him explicitly state that he's doing it until he can clean up his own organization. He leads into that speech by saying that he had seen American soldiers killed by his own weapons and that he had become "part of a system with zero oversight or accountability." That's the whole reason why he travels to Afghanistan later on to destroy his own Jericho missiles. There is never any indication he's permanently shutting down his weapons manufacturing, just that he's shutting it down until he can be sure that his weapons don't end up in the wrong hands. The movie makes this repeatedly and explicitly clear.
    • He's just seen a ton of terrorists armed with high-end weaponry he created. He might not be able to take those guns away (at first, until he starts using the suit), but he can stop more guns - and the higher-end stuff like the Jerichos - from getting out there.
    • Also, it's a matter of guilt and personal conscience. No, Tony Stark quitting the weapons manufacturing game isn't going to completely stop people from building and selling weapons and terrorists getting hold of them and people dying because of them. But it's going to stop terrorists getting hold of and people dying because of weapons that Tony Stark himself built and sold.

    Bodyguard Cover Story 
  • At the end of the film, SHIELD creates a cover story that Iron Man isn't Tony Stark, but instead is "merely" a bodyguard in a suit. But here's the thing, the SUIT is the important thing (at least I thought so). Even if it was a bodyguard in the suit, the fact that Tony (or his company) had been able to create a man sized suit of powered armor that can fly like a fighter plane is the impressive part.
    • And? The suit is out of the bag. They don't care about covering that up. They care about Tony's secret identity. And as the second movie shows, yes, the suit is the important part that everyone wants to get their hands on. So I don't understand what the question is here.

    Paralyzing Weapon? 
  • Twice in the movie we see Stane use some sort of paralyzing weapon to paralyze first the terrorist leader and then Stark. Okay, fine, that's acceptable, but what I don't get is HOW it paralyzes them. It appears to work by emitting some paralyzing frequency judging by the noise it makes, its tendency to make its victims' ears bleed, and Stane wearing earplugs. But can you really paralyze someone with just a noise? Also, it apparently doesn't paralyze the person completely, because Tony was still able to breathe and obviously his heart didn't stop beating when he was paralyzed. Also also, what was with the visible veins on the victims' faces?
    • Researchers have discovered that the roar of a tiger has infrasonic frequencies which stun prey, so there is precedent for sound incapacitating someone. There's a trope for it too: Brown Note. The visible veins are a bit of a mystery, though; perhaps the device alters biochemistry as a side effect, or the director decided that having people just stop moving for no visible reason would be confusing and invoked Rule of Perception.
    • I can think of two possiilities. First the device creates soundwaves at a frequency that causes human blood to do something that it isn't supposed to briefly clogging the veins visibly in the affected area as the cells organize themselves into a latic. Specifically this is done to the blood in the interior cavity of the skull after it enters through the ear canal. This has the side effect effect of effectively paralyzing the person in question as whatever their blood is doing causes immense physical pain and loss of cellular respiration briefly. Alternatively the noise hits on a previously unknown frequency that when directed into the interior of the skull causes a loss of nervous system coherence, nerve cells are forced to misfire jamming the central nervous system with nonsense which in turn causes arteries to constrict and veins to swell. Fortunately unlike a traditional artery blockage once the noise is gone blood begins flowing normal unimpeded, the heart and lungs will keep working on muscle memory until the connection to the brain normalizes but until then the person can barely move.

    The Mark III undersuit 
  • Stark is wearing a tight fitting body-suit as he puts on the Mark III armor for the first time, but this is the only time he wears it. Afterwards, he just has his ordinary clothes. Is there any indication what this body suit is for?
    • Its a brand new suit that is untested. What if something goes wrong, like the joints malfunction and slices up his flesh or some fuel leaks and burns his skin? The suit is a protective measure.
    • The only other time we see him suiting up in the Mk. III, he's in a hurry and using an underpowered power source also entrusted with keeping his heart going. Pinching and fouling was low on the priority list - if he succeeds, injuries can be treated, if he fails, he's dead anyways.

    Surviving in the Desert 
  • Stark's escape plan is to bust out of captivity with a suit of armor, destroy the weapons cache, and blast away. And then what, just wander around aimlessly in the desert until he dies of dehydration or heatstroke? Get pancaked because he didn't plan his landing properly? Find himself unable to un-suit without Yinsen's help and stand there helplessly as he gets slow-cooked in that tin can? Stark had nothing, nothing after the Mark I was destroyed, much less anything to help him survive or even signal any aircraft.
    • He may not have planned that far ahead. He didn't know where he was, so he couldn't plan for the terrain, and rightly figured that someone was looking for him so all he had to do was escape. Besides, he didn't exactly have the means to stash away survival gear beforehand, and that kind of thing is hard to grab when you're being shot at by terrorists.
    • I mean, let's face it; the alternative was staying in a terrorist weapons facility, building them a missile, then getting murdered once he'd done so. At least escaping came with a chance of survival. Besides which, he could probably gamble on someone noticing a really massive explosion happening in the middle of the desert completely unprovoked and rocking up to investigate it.

    Incompetent Medical Officers 
  • Isn't it standard practice to give rescued captives full medical examinations ASAP? We know Stark visited the infirmary, we see his arm in a sling when he returns home. It takes some doing to miss the giant glowing metal light bulb just during a basic checkup. It's incompetence to miss the giant copper-wire coil and the shards of shrapnel on an X-Ray, and outright malpractice when they failed to do anything regarding what must be one fucked-up ribcage. Besides, you'd think they'd take care of the shrapnel that Yinsen couldn't - they literally have no time limit and world-class surgical facilities at their disposal.
    • Stark likely told them to do whatever they could do to him without putting him under. Stark didn't know who to trust at this point, and being sedated ran the risk of someone stealing his arc reactor or killing him while he is helpless.

    Lacking Intelligence Community 
  • I can buy no-one knowing Stark weapons were being used by bad guys during the very first ambush, it may well have been the first time. Tony *was*, after all, the only survivor, and for obvious reasons would not have been available for debriefing. It's later on in the movie, when the press know terrorists have Stark weapons, that there's a problem. Why the hell haven't the CIA found out about it? They'd immediately run to the Department of Defense if they had credible evidence one of their primary defense contractors were arming the enemy. Is SHIELD seriously the only agency investigating?
    • It's possible. It's revealed in The Winter Soldier that at this point, HYDRA has been dabbling in world conflicts for decades, so perhaps they kept the CIA and Department of Defense off of Stark Industries' back so that they could sell to the Ten Rings, allowing the terrorism in the region to continue.

    Non-combative weaponry 
  • The Mark III suit was designed as a flight suit, carrying on from the Mark II, and put into production before Tony knew about the situation in Gulmira. It wasn't designed for combat, he swore to Pepper that he wasn't building a weapon, and he had no plans to use it as one. Even the principle weaponry of the suit is just him overcharging the repulsors to create an energy blast, as seen in the same scene where he insists it's not a weapon. The question, then, is what sort of non-weapon flight-suit function do the anti-tank rocket in the arm and the deadly-accurate missiles in the shoulder serve?
    • They don't. They're obviously weapons. Tony was lying, or in denial.
    • Tony only said the company wasn't producing anymore weapons for the foreseeable future. He didn't say anything about himself personally not making anymore weapons. Beyond that, he was making this weapon for himself, not for anyone else.

    Why test there? 
  • Why would they test the Jericho missile in an active war zone as opposed to say...Nevada?
    • They weren't testing it. They were demonstrating it.

    Ending the contract 
  • How can Tony end the weapons contract with the government one-sided? Wouldn't such a contract be obligatory?
    • Either the contract was up and he chose not to renew/renegotiate it or he unilaterally backed out and figured dealing with the breach of contract suit was worth it.
      • Are we talking about the film or the comic? In the film, Tony is a terribly irresponsible executive, as we see everyone around him racing to do his job while he skirts around. He simply declared, "We're not making weapons anymore," then left everyone else in the company holding the bag, particularly Obadiah Stane, who was able to use this as an opportunity to file an injunction against him. Under Stane's leadership, Stark Industries was still making weapons, as is evidenced by the presence of a Jericho in Golmera shortly after the injunction was files. Tony Stark thinks he can make a bold declaration and the entire world will fall in line, because lovable though he may be, he's still an egomaniac.
    • Also, Justin Hammer was standing by to take over the contract for the military.
      • In some continuities, Justin Hammer was originally a munitions desinger employed by Tony. After he got his pink slip, he started his own company. Imagine that on a MASSIVE scale: For virtually every contract Tony had, all his designers had to do was hoist a new flag and work around the Stark patents to keep making weapons. In fact, this may have been the easiest way to dismantle (and sell off) the Weapons Division in the first place!

    Didn't Tony hear Stane's name? 
  • When Pepper listens to the translated recording from when Tony was in captivity, we hear the terrorists refer to Obadiah Stane by name, with Tony conscious and in the room. Wouldn't Stane's name be spoken in English, in which case, wouldn't Tony be able to hear it and pick it out?
    • Given the condition he's in at the time, no, he probably wouldn't be able to hear it and pick it out. He's barely conscious, struggling against the light, and has a ton of shrapnel digging its way through his body towards his heart. It's doubtful he remembers anything he saw or heard during that.
    • Assuming Tony did hear it, Stane is the VP of Stark Industries. There's plenty of reasons the terrorists might address him.

    What happened to the other shareholders and higher ups in on Stane's plan? 
  • Something I've wondered about the Iron Man film So all those other shareholders and investors and heads of Stark Industries, the ones supporting locking Stark out, kicking him out of the company, seemingly supporting Stanes building of his support and murdering Stark and funding the Rings, what happened to them?

Even if they weren't aware of the latter two, I can't Stark being happy with them and given how successful the company became thanks to Starks change in direction and if they got what they wanted, the human race would be dead, surely they'd be considered terrible business people, monsters and enemies of the human race?

  • Of course not. You don't call someone a "monster" because they made what seemed to be a rational business decision — Tony absolutely was suffering from PTSD and was making decisions without consulting anybody, effectively shutting down a major part of the company — and then years later, in a circumstance that none of them could have possibly knew about, it turned out their decision was the wrong one. This question is acting like they knew about the Chitauri invasion and Thanos when they made those decisions, which is obviously incorrect.

    So about that electromagnet in Tony's chest 
  • I know it's a comic book movie and physics has to be flexible for it, but wouldn't that electromagnet Tony's carrying around in his chest basically fry/wipe most of the electronics he comes into close contact with?
    • Depends how strong the magnet is and what sort of insulation it has. Organic tissues are actually sufficient to block a rather significant amount of the electromagnetic spectrum and given the thing was recessed inside Tony's chest it probably wouldn't be much of an issue unless his phone got jammed through his flesh and past his ribs or something to that effect. The only way out would be through the arc reactor and based on what we see it's got some top notch shielding to keep it safely operating. As long as the magnet has been properly calibrated to only hold the shrapnel in place rather then yanking it backwards which would cause tissue damage it should be too weak to do any real harm.

     Bringing Pepper along to arrest Stane 
  • Why on Earth did Coulson bring Pepper along when they went to the lab to arrest Stane? If they'd needed her retina scan to get in or something, it might make sense, but she just waved a keycard at the locks, and when the lab lock didn't open for her they were perfectly capable of and willing to blow the door. So why bring along an untrained civilian?
    • There might have been other locks that needed more than a keycard, like a code or fingerprint. Also, they were willing and able to blow ONE door, the last door. Stane would have certainly noticed them coming if they were blowing all the doors on their route, so they probably figured having someone open the way to what they thought was going to be just an old man would be a way to surprise Stane so he couldn't get away or destroy evidence.